Vaishali Bhardwaj – Page 5

EXCLUSIVE BLOG: How to celebrate a Mosconi Cup victory by 2013 Team Europe winner Darren Appleton

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When Europe strolled to an imperious 11-2 victory against fierce rivals USA in the 2013 Mosconi Cup, history had been written.

Never before had a European side cruised to such a win in the history of the competition, yet Johan Ruijsink’s men had done it – and on American turf too.

The fact that it was Europe’s fourth title in a row – and in the 20th year of the tournament – meant one thing: the players needed to celebrate.

But just how did the European squad come to terms with such a win? And how did they decide to toast their victory?

2013 winner Darren Appleton exclusively tells www.vaishalibhardwaj.com what he did – and how he felt – in the days following the team’s momentous Mosconi Cup triumph.

Jun 09

Debating win total projections for all 32 NFL teams

May 29

Dan Quinn addresses Julio Jones’ absence at Falcons OTAs

Dan Quinn seems optimistic that Julio Jones will be back with the team sooner rather than later.

The Falcons receiver has been absent from voluntary organized team activities, with reports surfacing that he wants a restructured contract.”

Jones, 29, signed a five-year extension worth $71.25 million in 2015 and has three years and $34.43 million left on that deal. The five-time Pro Bowl player logged 88 catches for 1,444 yards and three touchdowns last season.

Gobert, named to the team for the second year in a row, is a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. Gobert, who had 2.3 blocks per game, earned 192 of a possible 200 points, including 94 First Team votes. Gobert missed 26 games this season with a knee injury and returned in late January to lead a resurgence by the Jazz, who finished the season 30-8 and won their first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Oladipo led the NBA in steals and closed out the year with an active streak of 64 consecutive games with a steal. It was his first time on the All-Defensive team.

Holiday, who racked up 64 blocks, made his first appearance on the team. Covington, also a first-timer on the team, led the NBA in deflections.

76ers center Joel Embiid (90 points), the third finalist for Defensive Player of the Year, led the second team.cowboys_041

May 19

Seahawks likely to save $5.975 million on Cliff Avril release

Unlike in 2017, the Seattle Seahawks aren’t strapped for cash heading into the 2018 season. In fact, barring a major change or sudden offseason pickup, like signing a big name player to a one-year deal like Dez Bryant, the Seahawks have more than enough money to navigate the entire season comfortably and will be in the middle of the pack in terms of cap space heading into the season; they also may open up a bit more if they hand out an extension to veterans Earl Thomas, Duane Brown and/or K.J. Wright, not that they need it. They’ll open up $2 million more when they cut punter Jon Ryan following training camp in favor of fifth-round pick Michael Dickson. It hurts but it’s happening guys. Best to prepare yourselves now.

All this to say, defensive end Cliff Avril wasn’t cut for cap relief — although he does open up a significant amount of cap — and the only cap blow back the Seahawks will receive for releasing him shouldn’t have a large affect on their final cap number. Remember additional cap space carries over to the next offseason.

Of course, interviewing for a job as an engineer isn’t quite like interviewing to become the face of one of 32 NFL teams. If Patricia doesn’t understand the difference, he’s not intelligent enough to be an NFL head coach in the first place. Since that probably isn’t the case, it leaves us with the even greater sin of purposeful omission.

If the Lions never investigated Patricia’s background to an extent that would have revealed the grand jury indictment, which the Detroit News had little problem procuring, it’s bad. If they asked Patricia if there were any criminal or civil proceedings in his background and he did not disclose, that’s worse.

Barring new information or Patricia’s accuser coming forward, it’s impossible to discuss the merits of the case, which fell apart 10 months after the alleged incident when the accuser decided not to testify. Though a Texas grand jury deemed the evidence strong enough to move forward with the case, we don’t know what that means. Other details, including from the police report, have been lost over two decades.colts_018

May 12

Maddox was the Steelers entrenched starter when they drafted Roethlisberger, and was willing to help his eventual replacement learn how to adjust to the pro game.

Howie Kendrick (R), 17 percent, Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants (LHP Ty Blach): Kendrick smacked lefties to the tune of a .322/.390/.511 line last year. He’s batted fifth or higher in the bulk of his games so far this season and his 35 percent hard contact rate is the second-highest of his career. Blach loves allowing contact with a meager 11 percent strikeout rate for his career and has always had a sharp platoon split favoring righty hitters with a .290/.340/.471 line.

Aaron Sanchez (R), 66.6 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox: He’s logged three straight quality starts, but made them eventful with seven walks and just six strikeouts across the past two. If he continues nibbling, Boston’s unforgiving lineup will punish him.

Of course, an arm injury in the second week of the season handed the job to Roethlisberger and he never gave it back, so it wasn’t as if Maddox had a long time to show him how it was done. But he thinks once they get to camp, the two will be fine.

“I think Ben will treat him with respect,” Maddox told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “His No. 1 goal is to get ready to play and help the team be successful.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say he owes it. That kind of gets into a little bit of a slippery slope. His job is to win football games right now. But, with that said, I think everybody in the locker room, the more it gets along, the better this team is going to be.”

Maddox, now coaching high school baseball in Texas, said it’s not a one-to-one comparison because Roethlisberger’s a better player than he was at the same stage.

“Everybody’s going to handle things differently. I’m not going to sit here and say I think Ben owes it to him to [mentor],” Maddox said. “I think all of us, when you’re playing, you owe it to your teammates to be respectful and do what’s best for the team and all that.orioles_023

Apr 30

Giants’ Josh Mauro suspended 4 games for PED violation

The Giants signed defensive end Josh Mauro earlier this week, but he won’t be able to play the first month of the regular season.

The team announced Friday that the league has suspended Mauro for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. He is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

“While I take responsibility for this suspension, I want to clarify that my test showed traces of banned stimulant from a preworkout supplement bought over the counter,” Mauro said in a statement (via NFL Network). “While I didn’t and would never intentionally put anything in my body that was a banned substance, I wholeheartedly honor and respect the NFL’s drug testing policy and I take full accountability.”

Cubs: 1B Anthony Rizzo missed his second consecutive game with back tightness and is day to day. Maddon said Rizzo was feeling better but he didn’t want to rush it.

Brewers: LF Christian Yelich (oblique tightness) is progressing but is doubtful to return Sunday, Counsell said. “I think we can get through the weekend and then I think we might be in good shape on Monday,” he said. … Needing a fresh arm in the bullpen, the team selected the contract of RHP J.J. Hoover from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned RHP Brandon Woodruff to its top farm club. LHP Tyler Webb was designated for assignment. Hoover got the last out of the ninth.

Cubs: LHP Jose Quintana (0-1) is set to make his second start after allowing six runs in six innings in his season debut on April 1 in Miami.

Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson (0-0) will make his third start, trying to rebound from a no-decision Tuesday when he allowed four runs in four innings against St. Louis.

“Well, Philadelphia had been trying to win a Super Bowl the 30 years I’d been in the NFL and got it this year. Not two [years],” Jones said, via ESPN. “So, they’ve been trying a long time to win a Super Bowl and other teams have, too. So, it wasn’t just a two-year run for them to go to the Super Bowl.”

After being prompted about closing the gap in the NFC East, Jones further expressed his bitterness by saying he sees many similarities between the Cowboys and Eagles.cardinals_045

Apr 27

Michael Bennett indicted for allegedly injuring paraplegic woman at Super Bowl 51

Newly acquired Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett has been indicted by a grand jury in Harris County, Texas, for allegedly injuring a 66-year-old paraplegic woman after Super Bowl 51 in February 2017, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s office.

The Eagles released a statement saying the team is aware of the situation and is gathering more information, but they will not further comment at this time.

Eagles Statement on Michael Bennett: We are aware of the situation involving Michael Bennett and are in the process of gathering more information. Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we will have no further comment at this time.

While performing in The Spring League in Austin, Texas, the controversial quarterback looked like his old self when he threw a touchdown pass in the first quarter of the matchup.

Manziel finished 9 of 15 for 83 yards and a score, but also took three sacks in the team’s 11-7 loss. Despite finding the developmental league game frustrating at times, he was just happy to be back on the field.

It’s disappointing, some of the things that happened, Manziel said, via ESPN, but nevertheless, it’s a huge step for me. I put pads back on. A lot of people wrote me off just to even get to this point. I’m definitely emotional about it. I’m definitely happy about it. This isn’t the end goal for me, but I’m having fun again. I have a smile on my face.

Let’s take a look at Andrew McCutchen of the San Francisco Giants. He started the season 2-for-24 (.083) with six strikeouts — and negative fantasy points as a result. But on April 7, he went off with a 6-for-7 night including three extra-base hits — one of which was a walk-off three-run blast in the 14th inning. Suddenly, he’s batting .258 on the season and has 16 total fantasy points for the week and he’s in no danger of being on the most-dropped list.

Conversely, how much louder would the boos be for Giancarlo Stanton if not for his 2-HR, 16 fantasy point Opening Day? Since then, he’s managed to go just 4-for-37 (.108) with 19 strikeouts, and his overall fantasy point total remains at 16. Yet, if Stanton goes 2-for-4 with a few balls either slamming into or sailing over the outfield wall in his next outing, all is likely to be sunshine and rainbows.cardinals_089

Apr 25

NFL trade news: Buccaneers acquire DE Jason Pierre-Paul from Giants

The Buccaneers added to their defensive line Thursday, sending a third- and fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft to the Giants for Jason Pierre-Paul and a 2018 fourth-round pick.

Tampa Bay needed help on the defensive edge, but at pick No. 7 in the draft the Bucs had virtually no shot at landing Chubb.

Jason is an elite-level edge rusher who will make an immediate impact on our defense, Bucs general manager Jason Licht told the team’s website. We are adding a two-time Pro Bowler who is passionate about the game and has established himself as one of the league’s premier defensive ends. Jason is an incredibly hard-working playmaker on the defensive front with a unique skill set that allows him to stay on the field in both rushing and passing situations.

Indians RHP Josh Tomlin (0-1, 24.00) had his turn in the rotation pushed back a day after experiencing back soreness in his start against the Angels when he allowed four home runs in three innings. Tigers LHP Matthew Boyd (0-1, 1.50 ERA), who has a 1.91 ERA in five career games at Progressive Field.

Insensitive comments from McNair are nothing new.

The vast majority of the Texans team knelt prior to their game against the Seahawks this past season in protest to McNair’s we can’t have the inmates running the prison comments at a recent meeting between NFL owners and executives.

According to ex-Texans offensive lineman Duane Brown, McNair has a history of questionable remarks.

In an interview with ProFootballTalk, Brown said McNair talked to the team in 2008 after Barak Obama was elected as president.

He was visibly upset about it, Brown said. He said, ‘I know a lot of y’all are happy right now, but it’s not the outcome that some of us were looking for.’ That was very shocking to me.

There’s more.cardinals_134

Apr 23

T.J. Jones signs tender with Lions

Wide receiver T.J. Jones signed his restricted free agent tender on the first day of the Lions’ offseason program.

The Lions made the announcement on Monday afternoon. Jones was tendered at the lowest of the three levels earlier this offseason and stands to make a little more than $1.9 million during the 2018 season.

Jones made the first six starts of his NFL career last season and set career-highs with 30 catches and 399 yards in his 14 overall appearances with the team. He’s played 27 games for Detroit over the last three seasons and will return to a complementary role alongside Golden Tate and Marvin Jones.

“I’m excited about it,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of momentum coming out of New York from people who have seen what we’ve done there, and there are people in New Orleans who are looking forward to using the platform to advocate on their behalf.”

Which means NFL players could be in the halls of another state house or university before long, with attentive audiences waiting.

“That was another playoff game. That was just tough, physical for 48 minutes,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

One more win Wednesday night at Minnesota and the Nuggets will end a five-year playoff drought.

The Trail Blazers have lost four straight but still harbor hopes of clinching the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

“At the end of the day this team is going to make a shot. I’m not worried about that,” said Jusuf Nurkic, who had 20 points and 19 rebounds. “We have one more at home (against Utah) and it’s probably going to be for the third spot. We’re going to fight for that.”

The Nuggets kept their season alive thanks to Nikola Jokic’s 10th triple-double of the season and a stifling defense on a night their starters made just 22 of 61 shots.

“I told them at halftime, I was honest, I said, `Fellas, if we lose, we’re out.’ I knew some of these other teams had won games. And I felt we played like our lives were on the line,” Malone said. “It wasn’t pretty, but I thought our defense was phenomenal.”texans_130

Apr 21

Raptors hold off Pistons 108-98

VanVleet was out with lower back tightness, and Ibaka had the night off to rest for Toronto.

The game didn’t mean much in terms of seeding in the East, but Toronto (59-22) now leads Golden State (58-23) by a game for home-court advantage in a possible NBA Finals matchup.

Manziel, 25, completed 13 of 32 passes for 136 yards and an interception in a 17-13 loss to the Chiefs in the last game he played. He has not played the past two seasons.

Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Timo Meier scored for San Jose. Martin Jones allowed five goals on 19 shots before being replaced by Aaron Dell to start the third period.

The Sharks started strong in the second period and held Minnesota without a shot for more than eight minutes. But the Wild then struck twice within less than a minute midway through the period to take control.

Granlund started it with a wrist shot for his 21st goal before Zucker took over with two goals of his own, giving him 33 on the season and the Wild coasted from there to the victory.

“We didn’t play too well,” Sharks forward Logan Couture said. “We should have played better. Disappointing. I think over 82 games in the season we had a pretty solid year to make the playoffs.”

The 49ers announced they have signed linebacker Korey Toomer to a one-year deal.

“We’re excited to add a talented player like Korey to our defensive unit,” 49ers General Manager John Lynch said, via quotes distributed by the team. “Korey is a good fit for the ‘stack linebacker’ position in our scheme, and he provides our team another good football player with plenty of NFL experience in similar systems.”

Toomer, 29, entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2012. He has spent time with the Seahawks (2012-13), Cowboys (2014), Rams (2014), Raiders (2015) and Chargers (2016-17).

In 46 career games, Toomer has 115 tackles, two sacks, one interception and five forced fumbles. He also has added 14 special teams tackles.

The way Chiefs general manager Brett Veach sees it, why wait?texans_113

Apr 19

Saints hoping draft goes as well this year as last

No team had a better draft than the Saints in 2017. Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore became the first teammates to sweep the AP Rookie of the Year awards since 1967.

Ryan Ramczyk, Marcus Williams, Alex Anzalone and Trey Hendrickson proved big contributors, too.

But the Saints don’t have as many picks — or draft as early — as they did in 2017. Their first pick this year is No. 27, and New Orleans’ next choice after that is No. 91. Six of the Saints’ eight choices are third-day picks.

A Beckham deal would go straight to the top of that star-studded marquee, and wide receiver is a need for the Rams after they failed to re-sign Sammy Watkins. But two factors make such a move undesirable and unreasonable for the Los Angeles.

Adding Beckham to an already volatile personality mix with Peters, Talib and Suh might be much too much to handle. The Rams also need to worry about paying Aaron Donald, the best defensive player in the NFL, what he wants beyond 2018. Taking on another contract concern from the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, in which Beckham was selected one spot ahead of Donald, would put the Rams in a tough situation with running back Todd Gurley and quarterback Jared Goff needing big deals, too, in the near future.

But what begins now for San Antonio after Monday’s 98-85 win over the Sacramento Kings is one final push to improve playoff seeding Wednesday when the Spurs face the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Arena. As it stands, the Spurs can finish anywhere between fourth and eighth in the Western Conference standings with one game remaining in the regular season.

“It feels good,” said Rudy Gay, who came off the bench to record a team-high 18 points as one of five Spurs to score in double figures. “It feels great, actually.”

The Spurs currently sit at sixth in the standings, and with a victory over New Orleans, they’re assured at least the No. 5 seed but could move up to fourth depending on the outcomes of other games in the conference.

For a franchise that tied the Portland Trail Blazers on the NBA’s all-time list for the second-longest streak of consecutive postseason appearances — and had captured back-to-back 60-win seasons in the previous two years — the Spurs expressed sincere relief in finally clinching the latest berth. Typically, at this time of the season, the Spurs are resting players in preparation for the playoffs.texans_096