Anthony Castrovince

October Rotation Tips for the Nats

The Nationals' starting five might be the best in baseball, but that doesn't mean they don't have tricky choices to make regarding their postseason rotation. Stephen Strasburg has been wildly inconsistent and Tanner Roark is still too green, so who should the Nats peg as No. 1? More»
Mike Tanier

Why Labor Day is New Year's Day

Happy New Year, football fans, students, parents, teachers and humans. A Labor Day weekend, school year, and NFL kickoff like any other is beginning, which means nothing will ever be the same again. More»
Will Leitch

The Best 100 Days In Sports

The summer is a relaxing time for sports fans, but with the start of college football on Thursday we have now embarked on the best 100 days on the sports calendar, which will include the World Series, LeBron's return, NFL craziness, and the first ever College Football Playoff being determined. Strap in. More»
Lindsay Gibbs

Keeping Perspective On CiCi

As we reminisce about the week that 15 year-old CiCi Bellis conquered New York, the quickest way to ruin a good story is to bill it as a sensational narrative. Losing in the second round may have been the best thing to happen to her. More»
Matt Brown

Changing The Conversation

All offseason, Texas A&M was thought to be in a rebuilding year with Johnny Manziel gone and the defense appearing weak. But forget everything we thought we knew. In dominating South Carolina, the Aggies proved they can reload. More»
Sheil Kapadia

10 NFL Numbers To Remember

The NFL season is almost upon us (finally). But while you wade through the usual whirlwind of predictions, pomp and circumstance, we provide you with ten different numbers that truly matter when it comes to the current landscape. More»
Matt Brown

College Football Pick 'Em: Week 1

Week 1 of college football gives us our first window into new-look teams and still-developing quarterback situations. From Clemson-Georgia to Wisconsin-LSU, there's a lot to watch, so here's how to prioritize it all and what to look for in a long weekend. More»
Matt Meyers

Reasons to stay indoors

Life gets complicated, particularly on Labor Day weekend. You're trying to spend time with friends and family, but you also want to make sure you mix in some time watching your favorite sports. The Weekend Cheat Sheet tells you what to watch and how to sound smart when talking about it. More»
Alyson Footer

Baseball's Misunderstood Teachers

The requirements of a successful hitting coach are so broad, evaluating one can be tricky; they come in all shapes and sizes, carrying pedigrees that range from having zero experience as a big league player to having appeared on multiple All-Star rosters. More»
Mike Tanier

NFL Roundup: Goodell's Apology

Last-minute thoughts, opinions, and observations as the NFL shifts from "muse for days about every topic" offseason mode to regular-season mode, with heavy emphasis on Roger Goodell's Ray Rice apology, Sean Gilbert's NFLPA bid and Jerry Jones' cap situation. More»
Will Leitch

A Great TV Experience In Person

Wednesday night's wild opening to the college football season reaffirmed what many of us realized long ago: The typical football game is a much better viewing experience on television than it is watching from the stands. More»
Matt Brown

Thursday Night Viewer's Guide

After the appetizer of Wednesday's Georgia State-Abilene Christian game, Thursday night is college football's true 2014 opening night, with 14 games all readily available for viewing nationally. We prioritize them and explain what to watch. More»
Matt Brown

Projecting the Playoff

Yes, it is really happening, the moment we thought might never come: A college football season with a playoff is here. We know it might be just as messy as the BCS, but it's still a positive step. Now to figure out how it will actually work. More»
Matt Brown

Too Good To Be True

Josh Shaw's story of spraining his ankles while trying to save his nephew from drowning in a pool didn't actually happen. And in two days the USC cornerback went from hero to goat, providing us with another cautionary tale from the college football world. More»
Mike Tanier

Vasectomy Tips for Drew Brees

Drew Brews take note: The vasectomy is safe, routine, and far less painful than what happened to you in last year's Rams game. But before you set up an appointment to coincide with the Masters, there are still a few things you need to know about the procedure. More»
Anthony Castrovince

Yankees are now underdogs

The Yankees' 2014 season has underscored baseball's new reality: Money can't buy you stability, which means money can't buy you victories, which means, at some point, you've got to make some truly sound analytical decisions if you're going to survive. More»
Matthew Leach

5 compelling September storylines

The days are getting shorter. The temperatures are dropping just a bit. And baseball is entering its best month of the season. While just about every team has something worth noting, here are five of the most compelling MLB storylines to keep track of in September. More»
Andrew Garda

Gordon's Suspension Ripple Effects

Josh Gordon lost his appeal for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy (for the second time) and will be gone for the season. Here's why it's not the end of the world for the Browns, who were fairly prepared for this likelihood all along. More»
Will Leitch

Kansas City Will Rock In October

Royals manager Ned Yost wasn't pleased with the paltry crowd on hand for this club's biggest win of the season, but he should just focus on getting his team to October, because a legendary atmosphere awaits. More»
Matt Brown

Winston's Repeat Heisman Hopes

In the 79-year history of the Heisman Trophy, only one man -- Archie Griffin -- has taken home the award twice. Florida State QB Jameis Winston is the latest to pursue history, but he faces steep competition to bring home the award again. More»
Anthony Castrovince

Can't Get No Satisfaction

For some fantasy football gamers, their leagues are not a diversion or a respite from reality, but an embarrassingly fruitless search for satisfaction that has cost many untold tallies of time, money and general NFL fandom. But they keep coming back for more, of course. More»
Mike Tanier

The Ultimate Final Preseason Guide

Most of the major preseason storylines wrapped up this week, but there are still a few reasons to keep an eye on Thursday night's action. Here are some of the unresolved issues that will come to a head on the NFL's most meaningless night of action. More»
Richard Justice

Detroit Races Its Title Window

So many things have happened to the Tigers this season, so much adversity, so many injuries and poor performances, so many of the things that can bring a club to its knees, a World Series trophy would be the perfect finishing touch. Does Detroit have what it takes? More»
Andrew Garda

Planning for Bye Weeks

When participating in a fantasy football draft, it's easy to forget about an aspect which is more critical than we give it credit for: bye weeks. Of course, there is always the waiver wire in a pinch, but drafting intelligently from the get go can minimize a bye's impact significantly. More»
Will Leitch

The Playoff Bug

The general consensus about the new College Football Playoff is that now that the major conferences have consolidated into their Big Five, it's going to be just as difficult, if not more so, for schools outside to break in. That's bad news for the Boise States and BYUs of the college football world. More»
Aaron Gordon

City Still EPL Team to Beat

We still don't know who or what constitutes a title contender at this stage considering a cool summer breeze is still wafting through the transfer window, but one thing is certain: Manchester City is as close to perfection in the EPL as it comes. More»
Matt Brown

Calm Under Pressure

Christian Hackenberg committed to play for Penn State during its darkest time. Now, he enters his second year as starting QB, becoming one of the nation's most high-profile players but surrounded by uncertainty. Neither seems to bother him at all. More»
Anthony Castrovince

Baseball's Bounce-Back Index

These MLB teams have an all-too-realistic chance of losing 90 games this season, so we feel comfortable counting them as non-contenders for the 2014 postseason. But this doesn't mean we should count out a club like the Red Sox in '15. More»
Mike Tanier

The First Cuts are the Deepest

The NFL's next seven days or so will be filled with cuts. There won't be time to mentally process the number of careers that quietly end in the next seven days. Before you realize that a guy you once rooted for is gone, you'll be rooting for the next guy. More»
Andrew Garda

Rams Prepping For Post-Bradford Era

Sam Bradford's time with the Rams looks to be over, unfortunately. The team will have to cut bait and move on (likely with Shaun Hill in the short term), while Bradford will have to rest up and try to make it as a backup next season. More»
Will Leitch

Sam Bradford Is Still A Legend

Sam Bradford's season-ending knee injury likely seals his status as a bust in St. Louis, but like many NFL players, he's still a legend in his college town, another reminder that legacies in the NFL are far more fleeting than they are in college. More»
Matt Meyers

EPL Week 2: Equal Footing

Everton continues to let leads slip away, Manchester United still looks sluggish and Tottenham shows its muscle as some of the Barclays Premier League's early season results threaten to turn into trends. More»
Dan Pompei

Inside Manning

To understand Peyton Manning, one has to know where he came from. Why would a 38-year-old quarterback, already one of the most celebrated in history, run plays after practice with young receivers? Because he is driven and focused beyond compare. More»
Mike Tanier

Mandatory Monday: On The Rise

From breakout stars to rising role players who will have a surprising impact on the playoff race, here are the up-and-coming NFL players we will be talking about in 2014 and beyond. Besides Johnny Manziel, of course. More»
Richard Justice

Give Joey Votto a Break

When Joey Votto had to tell reporters that he was on the DL because he was really injured, it spoke to a distorted perception. Even though the Reds star has been one of the most productive players in the league over the last six season, his toughness is continually questioned. More»
Matt Brown

Preseason College Football Top 25

There is no legitimate argument otherwise: Florida State is ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls for a reason. But what really matters is getting into the top four by the end of the season. With kickoff nearing, here's who's chasing the Seminoles. More»
Doug Miller

Girl Power

Now that Mo'ne Davis and her Taney teammates have bowed out of the Little League World Series, we'll all wonder what comes next for Davis. In the meantime, though, we can revisit some of the other girls in the LLWS and see where they are now. More»
Matt Brown

Escaping Trouble

With four players -- including standouts KeiVarae Russell and DeVaris Daniels -- under academic investigation, Notre Dame finds itself in a precarious position. But with young talent emerging, all hope may not be lost for the Irish. More»
Matt Brown

Best of the Rest

The power balance among conferences in college football has never been clearer, but that doesn't mean the best of the less powerful Group of Five can't compete on the national level. Here are 20 things to know about the Group of Five. More»
Richard Justice

A Winning Atmosphere

The A's are different. Their payrolls are usually among the lowest in baseball, and this season, they've got the fifth-lowest payroll and the second-highest winning percentage. But most importantly, their front office has created a winning atmosphere. More»
Mike Tanier

Going for Two at the One

Spotting extra points at the one-yard line would make the kicks as automatic as ever, but going for two would be much more enticing. Bold coaches might be coaxed into going for two early in games, or more aggressively when trailing. More»
Will Leitch

Football Set To Rule Our Lives Again

Despite all the negative press football has gotten recently, we still can't help but plan our lives around its games. So buckle up, people, because this will be the last weekend for a long time we don't set our clocks to pigskin. More»
Matt Brown

20 Things to Know About the Pac-12

With Heisman candidate quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley returning, Oregon and UCLA have emerged as Pac-12 favorites and playoff contenders. But in a deep and talented conference, they may have company at the top. More»
Anthony Castrovince

Braves Hoping to Still Be In Hunt

The Braves' fate seemed grim not too long ago. But given the way the Nats have played of late, two developments -- involving the two homegrown No. 1 draft picks on this Braves roster -- have at least improved Atlanta's outlook for the home stretch. More»
Matt Meyers

Late Summer Hurdles

Life gets complicated, particularly on the weekend. You're trying to spend time with friends and family, but you also want to make sure you mix in some time watching your favorite sports. The Weekend Cheat Sheet tells you what to watch and how to sound smart when talking about it. More»
Doug Miller

Where Horse Racing reigns supreme

A trip to your local horse racing track will most likely leave you with a few less dollars in your wallet and the feeling that the sport, like its fan base, is clip-clopping ever closer to an expiration date. But not at Saratoga, where you're reminded about what racing could be, should be, and, sometimes, still is. More»
Mike Tanier

Football Flashback

"The Simpsons" debuted on Sunday night, December 17th, 1989, twenty-five years and an entire era of NFL history ago. Here's just a glimpse at what football life was like back then, when Dallas was growing into a juggernaut and John Elway ruled the AFC. More»
Will Leitch

Team USA's Predictable Down Cycle

The United States has dominated international hoops for the last few years, which means that players are fans are once again becoming indifferent to global competitions. No one should be surprised by this. More»
Matt Brown

20 Things to Know About the Big Ten

The season-ending shoulder injury to Ohio State's Braxton Miller threw a wrench into the Big Ten's playoff hopes, shifting national attention to Michigan State. With a sturdy defense and an improving offense, the Spartans may be up for the challenge. More»
Anthony Castrovince

A Catalyst for Change

For all its success at the Little League World Series, the Taney Youth Baseball Association -- the group that brought us Mo'ne Davis -- doesn't have nearly any of the advantages that suburban leagues have. Now is the time to fix this disparity. More»
Jim Callis

6 Potential Fall Aces

In recent years, Michael Wacha, Sonny Gray and Matt Moore have emerged as playoff aces, stepping up in a big way despite their inexperience. That scenario could repeat itself this year, with six young pitchers waiting for their moment to shine. More»
Matthew Leach

Baseball's Jaw-Dropping Comebacks

There's a reason baseball comebacks stand out. They're rare. If teams always finished scaling that mountain, it wouldn't be such a big deal. But overcoming an 11-run deficit in hardball is nothing to scoff at; witnessing such a feat will likely stick with you for life. More»
Sports on Earth Staff

Memorable Simpsons Sports Moments

Starting August 21, the FXX network is airing an insane 12-day marathon of The Simpsons. All 552 episodes. In a row. To honor the occasion, here are some of the series' funniest sports moments ever. Mmmmm... clickbait. More»
Mike Tanier

Scary Preseason Stats

Preseason statistics are mostly meaningless. They shouldn't scare you. But you cannot help it: they are like a midnight bump on the rooftop that you know darn well is just a squirrel, but still worry about until you are certain it is an extremely nimble-footed serial killer. More»
Will Leitch

The Demise Of Fantasy Football

Fantasy football wasn't full embraced by the NFL establishment until just a few years ago. And like many things, going mainstream has led to fantasy football losing a little bit of what made it so great in the first place. More»
Matt Brown

20 Things to Know About the SEC

The SEC may have lost the national title and Alabama may have stumbled to end 2013, but make no mistake: Neither is going anywhere. Now, four teams stand out atop the league in the race to get multiple bids in the first College Football Playoff. More»
Jack Moore

NCAA's Systematic Exploitation

The NCAA and its member institutions have exploited the desire for diversity on college campuses and the high proportion of minorities in college athletics for years. The treatment of black athletes at San Jose State in the late 1960s and early 1970s is just one of many egregious examples. More»
Todd Dybas

Football's most dynamic pairing

The Seahawks have hitched themselves to Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas as the keys to their top-down defensive philosophy. It appears the organization, like Chancellor and Thomas, believes there is still growth to come from one of the league's best duos. More»
Mike Tanier

Johnny On The Spot

After a flippin' up and down night, Johnny Manziel's status as potential Browns starter is still uncertain. No matter what, Cleveland has a bad decision to make -- one that's almost papal-like. Start looking for smoke. More»
Richard Justice

The Secrets Of Successful Managers

Managing a Major League Baseball team has changed over the last century. In fact, the most dramatic changes probably have come in just the last decade. These days, a manager's job has changed so drastically that it's barely recognizable from another era. More»
Will Leitch

Johnny Manziel Is No Tim Tebow

Johnny Manziel is getting over-the-top media coverage we haven't seen for a rookie quarterback since Tim Tebow. There's one key difference: Manziel is entertaining in a way that Tebow never was, which makes much of it justifiable. More»
Sports on Earth Staff

Athletes on Ice

By now, you may be over the ALS ice bucket challenge. But the results are still remarkable, in some part driven by the biggest-name athletes, coaches and front office luminaries posting their own videos, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. More»
Matt Brown

The Cruelest Time of Year

Ohio State QB Braxton Miller reinjured his throwing shoulder on Monday, knocking him out for the season. Not only does the injury sideline one of the game's best players, but it also greatly impacts the Big Ten and playoff races. More»
Matt Brown

20 Things To Know About The Big 12

Oklahoma has been riding high all offseason after its Sugar Bowl upset of Alabama, with Trevor Knight and the Sooners now taking aim at a Big 12 title and a playoff berth. Can Baylor recapture last year's magic and stand in their way? More»
Mike Tanier

Baseball's healing power

Being the son of a former big leaguer, Roy Smalley III was better equipped to play baseball than most Little Leaguers of the early 1960s, and after 13 years in the Majors, Smalley now makes sure kids across the country have the same advantages he had. More»
Anthony Castrovince

Orioles Built to Last?

The Orioles' big lead in the AL East hasn't bought them universal respect. Already, there are questions emanating from fans and analysts alike about Baltimore's ultimate October staying power, should it nail down the division. Will the O's prove them wrong? More»
Howard Megdal

The Cardinals Way

There was no game attached to the first Hall of Fame induction at Ballpark Village, no giveaway item. Just a Cardinals team honoring its history, and fans who remember so much of it, coming together. This is how it works in St. Louis. More»
Mike Tanier

We Can't Stop NFL Training Camp Fights

There's no real way to eliminate NFL training camp fights or the ridiculous hand-wringing about training camp fights. The only way to eradicate those things is to close training camp for the year. That is already happening. Problem solved. More»
Will Leitch

Marion, The Hall Of Fame, And Sanity

Shawn Marion, who is poised to sign with the Cavaliers, has a decent chance to make the NBA Hall of Fame. Some might say this is because the Basketball Hall of Fame isn't important enough. We say it's because it's EXACTLY important enough. More»
Lyle Spencer

Is Kobe Back?

After a left knee fracture wrecked Kobe Bryant's 2013-14 season, the Lakers star is now fully healthy and looking good, says GM Mitch Kupchak. But optimism in the summer is one thing: Seeing him in action is something else. More»
Matt Brown

20 Things to Know About the ACC

Florida State is ranked number one in the AP preseason poll and they are, naturally, the team to beat in the ACC. But besides the Seminoles, there are plenty of interesting teams in the new-look conference that deserve your attention. More»
Mike Tanier

Mandatory Monday: Straight Story

Let's rank NFL quarterback prospects on a Preseason Pessimism Index -- who is least likely to find success this season? Plus, get your story straight on some key plotlines, from defensive penalties to Eli Manning's completion percentage. More»
Richard Justice

Why You Should Root For The Royals

If the Royals win the AL Central this year, it will be because of the faith that owner David Glass showed in GM Dayton Moore. Few teams stick to a plan like the Royals have, and it's why any neutral fan should be pulling for them. More»
Matt Meyers

The EPL's Early Narratives

When it comes to compelling storylines and entertaining characters, no soccer league -- or arguably any sports league -- compares to the EPL. After one week minus one game of this year's EPL season, these are the storylines that bear watching. More»
Dan Pompei

What I Learned As A Ball Boy

From NFL coaches to executives, from current stars to hall-of-famers, many a pro football career began on the sidelines as a ball boy -- and many of those who were lucky enough to have this glamorous yet lowly existence remember it fondly. More»
Patrick Hruby

Fending off a behemoth

On Thursday, lawyers for a group of retired players involved in painkiller lawsuits with the NFL filed a motion with a federal judge to intervene in the brain trauma case. Why? Because the concussion settlement's language could indemnify the league from covering painkiller cases. More»
Anthony Castrovince

Ranking baseball's injury sufferers

Baseball's injuries have made their mark on the pennant races already, testing the depth and creativity of clubs, and returns from the DL will go a long way in determining who gets into October. With that in mind, we wrote a ranking of 10 MLB teams that are hurting the most. More»
Will Leitch

Six Wishes For the New Commish

It's been more than 20 years since we've had a new Commissioner in baseball, so this is uncharted territory. But when Rob Manfred takes over MLB in January, he has some key business to attend to, posthaste. Here are the six items on my list. More»
Mike Tanier

Bills and Steelers Thinking Young

The receivers we've seen at the Steelers-Bills joint practices combine size and speed into an irresistible and seemingly un-coverable package. Both teams have rookies poised to take the league by storm. Just maybe not this year. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Planning for the Worst

With Troy Tulowitzki tearing his hip labrum on Wednesday, we've finally reached the point where the Rockies can no longer plan on him being healthy. The question Colorado's front office should be asking itself isn't if Tulowitzki is going to get injured again; it's when. More»
Anthony Castrovince

Cleveland Embraces Gay Games

Cleveland's embrace of its unlikely role as host of the Gay Games has been refreshing, especially considering that Northeast Ohio is notorious for its anti-LGBT. Besides a pressing need for ice for aching athletes, the week-long event has gone off without a hitch. More»
Sports on Earth Staff

Who to Root for in the Premier League

Are you a freshly-minted soccer fan after the World Cup, and confused about who to root for in the English Premier League? Even if you're a longtime EPL follower, our flowchart can help you decide which club to put your allegiance behind. More»
Will Leitch

Michael Vick: Elder Statesman

Michael Vick knows what's like to be a hated man, and as his career moves on to its next phase, his experience sheds some light on how Ray Rice, the NFL's newest pariah, is being viewed by fans, media and players. More»
Aaron Gordon

Premier League Preview

Triple-check the functionality of your coffee (or tea) pots, because Saturday mornings are about to get rough again: The Premier League season is upon us. Which clubs are expected to be on top of the tables this year? Here's our British breakdown. More»
Matthew Leach

Baseball's hitless club

Domingo Santana was recently sent back to the minors, ensuring that he'll wait at least 10 more days before his first MLB hit -- a milestone he's been pursuing since his July 1 debut. Plenty of successful big leaguers, however, went hitless in their opening at-bats. More»
Dan Pompei

Scenes From the NFC West

From Renton, Wash., to Santa Clara, Calif., to Glendale, Ariz., and Earth City, Mo., football's best division keeps getting better; only a fool would discount a NFC West team as a contender, including the Rams. Here are eight training camp scenes that tell the story of the dominant West. More»
Sports on Earth Staff

The 10 Best Baseball Fan Catches

Sure, we can gaze in awe at players like Juan Lagares or Austin Jackson making circus catches all day long. But when that average person in the stands makes an amazing catch, there's something special about it. It becomes our iconic moment, our chance to shine. More»
Mike Tanier

Football's passing explosion

The offensive ground is shifting beneath our feet, and fantasy football gamers must either adjust to the NFL's passing explosion or lose their balance. Last year's quarterbacks, or outdated quarterback strategies, could be killing your team. More»
Will Leitch

Scandrick's Insane PED Explanation

Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick could have used any number of typical excuses to explain his PED suspension, but because of the stigma associated with PEDs, he chose a new one -- straight-up stupidity. More»
Dan Pompei

Tom Moore, Cardinals Consigliere

At 75 years old, the Cardinals assistant coach Tom Moore has seen it all, winning two Super Bowls with the Chuck Noll Steelers and helping mentor Peyton Manning. Does he regret never being a head coach? Sunday at 1 p.m. is "some powerful s--t." More»
Mike Tanier

Ultimate Training Camp Twitter Timeline

No two NFL training camps are exactly alike, but every camp-saturated Twitter timeline is exactly the same. If you kept your TweetDeck open during a typical midway practice session in the past two weeks, chances are you experienced something exactly like this. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

The Yanks' Shot In the Arm

Michael Pineda returns to the mound for the Yankees on Wednesday night sporting a clean bill of health, a 1.83 ERA in 19.2 innings this year and hopefully some better hiding spots for his pine tar. But has Pineda arrived too late to save the pinstripes' season? More»
John Perrotto

La Russa's New Learning Curve

Tony La Russa has achieved seemingly everything in his career. He won six pennants and three World Series as a manager and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Yet he isn't quite satisfied yet and he's looking make new milestones with the Arizona Diamondbacks. More»
Doug Miller

Washington's Department of Defense

DeSean Jackson's fleet legs can etch gold leaf into the stat book, and Robert Griffin III can electrify stadiums the way he did before his knee buckled, but none of it will matter if the Redskins can't stop anybody. Luckily, Washington is already taking this mantra to heart. More»
Will Leitch

Big League Fantasy

Adam Wainwright has been playing fantasy football his whole life, and he's drawing on that experience -- and his connections throughout the baseball world -- to raise money for charity in a unique way. More»
Howard Megdal

Mets Hopes Pinned to Future

For this columnist and his young daughter, the future of the New York Mets doesn't seem quite as bleak this summer, especially with the young talent coming through the system. Is this false hope or a sign of good things to come in Flushing? More»
Sports on Earth Staff

Great moments in sports trolling

Bryce Harper recently caused a stir when he dragged his foot across the "A" in the dirt behind homeplate at Turner Field, enraging Braves fans. But he's certainly not the first athlete to bring the art of trolling onto the field. Here are some of our favorites. More»
Anthony Castrovince

How the Tigers Lost Their Grip

You're no doubt wondering: Have the Tigers given away what once looked to be the most winnable division in baseball? The Royals look like they're going to put up a serious fight for the AL Central, and for the first time in a long, long time, Detroit looks truly vulnerable. More»
Jack Etkin

Foundational Piece

The Cubs already have a slew of hitting prospects -- Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Albert Almora -- that will serve as key offensive pieces in their rebuild, but still lack enough quality pitching. Jake Arrieta, 28, will likely be the bedrock of Chicago's rotation revamp. More»
Mike Tanier

Battle of the Backs

Running back controversies are not half as fun as quarterback controversies, but both fantasy gamers and plain-old fans like to keep one eye on running back committees. Here are some of the most interesting ones of the preseason. More»
Patrick Hruby

Nothing And Everything Has Changed

Federal judge Claudia Wilken issued a ruling last Friday in the landmark antitrust case brought by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon. What does the decision mean for amateurism? For the future of college sports? More»
Lyle Spencer

Dominoes of the Love Deal

There can be no doubt now that LeBron James had his dream teammate in mind all along with Kevin Love. But now that the deal is close to becoming official, let's take a look at how it affects the other teams in the NBA, especially some of Love's former suitors. More»
Will Leitch

Tony Stewart and Our Need to Know

We have become a culture that is obsessed with knowing. It consumes us. But when a nightmarish accident happens on a dirt racetrack on Saturday night, and someone captures it on video, can it provide us with the truth? More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Managing Great Expectations

On the surface, Javier Baez and Trevor May's debuts are unrelated. But they illustrate something about the Cubs more than the Twins: Chicago's front office is extremely good at controlling expectations and managing the fans and media. More»
Mike Tanier

Mandatory Monday: Preseason Reads

No rookie quarterback started his team's first preseason game this week. Most didn't even get to take snaps with the starters. How do these rookie cameos from Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater compare to Tom Brady? Or a dud like Blaine Gabbert? More»
Dan Pompei

Bernie Kosar Unmasked

Football has given so much to Bernie Kosar, enriching his life and preparing him for extraordinary challenges. But the NFL has also taken a toll on the Ohio native. He has suffered from changes in his speech, ringing in his ears and anxiety -- but Kosar has no regrets. More»
Doug Miller

Tune for Tony Gwynn

Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn passed away from cancer far too young. Lifetime baseball fan and musician Steve Poltz has now found an appropriate way to pay tribute... his new song, called, "Hey, Hey, Number 19." More»
Mike Tanier

Why the Rams will cut Michael Sam

Michael Sam made his preseason debut on Friday night. He entered the game late in the first quarter, which is surprisingly early for a third-stringer, and now not just the Rams have footage on him, but so do all the other NFL teams. Which may just be for the best. More»
Will Leitch

This Is Why The Wild Card Exists

Congratulations to the Tigers, A's, Angels and Orioles, who seem like excellent bets to get to October. But there's still the matter of the second American League wild card to attend to, and four teams -- the Yankees, Royals, Mariners and Blue Jays -- will fight to the end for it. More»
Mike Tanier

First Impressions

Many fans may be relieved to see actual football players on actual fields doing football things. But besides the cosmetics, there are a few things to discern from the slate of NFL preseason games. Here are some thoughts on the first night of action. More»
Richard Justice

The Pull of the Pool

Some worry Michael Phelps is making a mistake by coming out of retirement; at 29, it'll be hard for him to match his untouchable performances in Athens, London and Beijing. But does it matter? As many other athletes can attest, retirement can be harder than losing. More»
Howard Megdal

Can This Man Win It All?

Brad Ausmus spent 18 years as a big league catcher, three coming in Detroit. Now, he's the first-year manager of the Tigers, who are pushing towards yet another playoff run, and he's learning what it takes to run a team and get by away from his family. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Soaring Birds

The Orioles are five games up in the East, the biggest division lead in the American League. How in the world are they doing it? Even if the O's reach the playoffs, it's unclear if they'll be able to keep up this magic; getting to the postseason is much different than succeeding there. More»
Anthony Castrovince

No Place Like Home

Certainly, LeBron James' 2010 departure was as dramatic as his basketball brilliance. But he was far from the first young native Northeast Ohioan to "take his talents" to more attractive opportunities and then return to his homeland. More»
Aaron Gordon

Tech For Terrible Sports Fans

Manziel Yelp, Accusapedia and Bermanator; these are just a few apps that JackApps, a tech startup devoted to improving efficiency in the highly lucrative yet largely ignored market of obnoxious sports fans, are dreaming up everyday. We just need $9 billion to fund them! More»
Will Leitch

Predicting Tiger's Bitter End

Tiger Woods' appeal always seemed so tied to his youth, in his place as golf's preternatural phenom. But now that he's aging so ungracefully, it may be time to move on from the idea that we'll ever see him regain his winning form. More»
Jason Cohen

Friendly Fire

On Wednesday, Major League Soccer's all-star team faced off against F.C. Bayern Munich in a friendly that concluded on a not-so-friendly note between two coaches. It was also a display of rabid fandom from a city that represents America's growing passion for soccer. More»
Mike Tanier

Top Preseason Storylines

This collection of rookies, veterans, and role players will all get real playing time this weekend in the NFL's first preseason games, and they are all interesting for different reasons. Some might be fantasy sleepers, others are players who will shape their teams' immediate future. More»
Richard Justice

The Best Second-Half Comebacks

The baseball season really ain't over 'til it's over. And if the Cardinals' miracle comeback in 2011 isn't enough of an inspiration, we compiled a list of Major League Baseball's best miracle runs down the stretch, including the '95 Mariners and the '51 Giants. More»
Matt Crossman

Back in Business

Tim Tebow has stayed largely removed from the public eye since his football career ended, or went on hiatus, or whatever, after the 2012 NFL season. But America is about to see a whole lot more of the Heisman winner; in fact, he'll practically be in your living room every Football Saturday once more. More»
Dan Pompei

Dynamic Duo

The beauty of pairing DeMarcus Ware with Von Miller is the Broncos will increase their defensive options while reducing their opponents' offensive choices. Though Denver's plan isn't entirely clear yet, when both have been on the field the duo's huge potential is obvious. More»
Marc Normandin

Baseball's Top August pickups

The July 31 trade deadline gets all the love, but there have still been plenty of significant August moves. We picked four of the most important, franchise-shaping swaps in the month's surprisingly storied history. More»
Paul Casella and AJ Cassavell

23 Facts About Mike Trout

Today marks Mike Trout's 23rd birthday -- yes, folks, he's only 23. And to celebrate, we've compiled a list of 23 factoids you may not have known about the Angels' superstar. Happy birthday to one of the most exciting players the game has seen in a long, long time. More»
Pat Jordan

Decline of the Curve

Pitchers must have monumental will to throw the overhand curveball, an unshakable belief that they can make that white sphere bend to your will. It could be that difficulty that accounts for the drop in use over recent decades. Here, a close look at the devolution of a befuddling pitch. More»
Will Leitch

Sticker Shock

On Monday, Andy Dalton signed a "six-year, $115 million" contract with the Bengals, which seemed to gall many. But let's not forget that, in reality, that money is mainly an illusion -- and, compared to other leagues, it's a downright bargain. More»
Jonathan Bernhardt

Fallen Star

The Pirates were going to have a difficult time getting past both the Brewers and Cardinals and into first place in the NL Central no matter what, but now, with Andrew McCutchen dealing with a serious rib injury, it may be impossible. Can they possibly overcome this setback? More»
Eno Sarris

Value Added

The Tigers and Athletics both made huge deals in July, but did they get the most value out of them? By tracking the projections for the players coming in and those going out, we can see who did the best, and it just might have been the big-market team who kept it simple. More»
Howard Megdal

Welcome Addition

David Price's first start for the Tigers couldn't really have gone much better, striking out 10 without walking a single Yankee. Most importantly, he gave his new team a good chance to win, and that's all his manager could have asked for. More»
Dan Pompei

The Seahawks Way

The Seahawks just won the Super Bowl, but they aren't worried about getting complacent. Nearly all of the team's 2014 draftees had to overcome adversity of some sort, whether it was injuries, family-related or otherwise, and Pete Carroll thinks that's important. More»
Lars Anderson

Bielema's Big Gamble

Bret Bielema's job was secure at Wisconsin; he probably could have stayed there for life if he wanted. Instead, Bielema became the Big Ten's latest export to the SEC when he took over Arkansas' football program in early 2013. Can the 44-year-old replicate his Midwest success in the South? More»
Mike Tanier

Mostly Meaningless

We claim to be too NFL savvy to place too much stock in camp depth charts and preseason results. Yet we cannot help ourselves. Depth charts are tangible, practice reps visible. They are concrete things to talk and write about, even if they're mostly meaningless. More»
Will Leitch

Clash of the Titans

In Monday's Angels-Dodgers game, a playful back-and-forth between Albert Pujols and Yasiel Puig encompassed everything great about the emotion of baseball and clash of cultures. This is what we ask for when we watch: something that makes us want to see these guys play again, and again, and again. More»
Wendy Thurm

Heart In San Francisco

At 33, Jake Peavy is trying to get by more with savvy than raw stuff. After being traded from the Red Sox to the Giants, he's also had to adjust to the rigors of a tight divisional race, one that could hinge on his ability to rise to the occasion. More»
Mike Tanier

The NFL's Cambrian Explosion

Welcome to one of the most rapid periods of tactical evolution in NFL history! It's a time when everything from play-calling procedures to roster development is being revised and reimagined. This is not your father's football league anymore, and it might not be your big brother's, either. More»
Matt Brown

Urban Renewal

Ohio State's 2013 season ended in disappointment, and it has a lot of question marks still lingering. But while it's easy to be wary of the Buckeyes' flaws, Urban Meyer has built a high-upside team that should be in good position for a playoff run. More»
Aaron Gordon

Moral Compass?

After several years of playing the stern lawman, Roger Goodell has come under fire for being just the opposite in regards to Ray Rice. But what the public doesn't understand is the NFL is not a cultural trendsetter -- its policies are made to reflect society's conventional norms. More»
Matthew Kory

Seasons of Change

Less than a year after the Boston Red Sox took home the World Series, the team looks completely different. This sounds extreme, but is it? How long do World Series winning teams typically stay together? We took a close look. More»
Dan Pompei

Leading the Charge

At 32, 11 years into his NFL career, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is in rare air in terms of his understanding of the game. But what stands out most to offensive coordinator Frank Reich is Rivers' beautiful mind. More»
Colin McGowan

Don Garber's Big Gamble

MLS is looking to expand to various cities across the country, which is exactly how it almost collapsed in the early 2000s. Even if adding teams doesn't result in financial ruin, it's almost certain to hurt the league in one way or another. More»
Will Leitch

Fire Up The Hype Train

Are you sufficiently excited for football season yet? It may still be summer, but we're just a few short weeks away from football, both college and pro, and there's no shortage of hype videos to remind of just how great that is... even if the teams they promote may not be. More»
Mike Tanier

Mandatory Monday: Early Thrills

The best regular-season matchups make the worst preseason matchups. Fans have known this for years. Television programmers are finally starting to figure it out -- so here's the slate of games to watch, those to avoid and those we wish were on TV. More»
Joe DeLessio

Seizing The Moment

In 1992, roller hockey made its Olympic debut as a demonstration sportsat the Barcelona Games. For those involved with a version of the sport called rink hockey -- the 1992 Olympics represent the biggest showcase the game's ever known. The years that followed were difficult. More»
Chuck Culpepper

Far From Failure

If Tiger Woods does not surpass Jack Nicklaus' record many will consider his career a failure. But we all need to recalibrate -- in a sport where winning one major is a huge accomplishment, Tiger's 14 is so very far from some bloody failure. More»
Colin McGowan

Follow the Money

Mark Cuban thinks the NBA should ditch FIBA and the IOC and start its own international tournament. Why? Because it would be lucrative. All of the pomp and circumstance of the Olympics and World Cup are just a smokescreen. More»
Mike Tanier

Party Like a Browns Star

Johnny Manziel stopped for a beer at a joint called Two Bucks in Middleburg Heights, Ohio last week and we leapt at the opportunity to hunker down on Manziel's still-warm barstool and briefly experience life as the NFL's most notorious young socialite. More»
Jesse Fredeen

What's the Prognosis?

With so many factors in play, it's reasonable to expect a wide range of possible recovery paths for Paul George. They'll be major risks involved with his recuperation, but George will likely play again in the NBA, and he could be the Paul George of recent years. More»
Jack Moore

Ace in the Making

Just like Matt Harvey, Jake deGrom has turned his biggest weakness -- the changeup -- into a strength, and is giving Mets fans optimism for the future. Though deGrom's Major League career is fewer than 100 innings old, there's a lot to like about the young right-hander already. More»
Shaun Powell

A Rash of Injuries

The gruesome leg injury suffered by Paul George heightened one very important and disturbing perception: The NBA is suddenly cursed when it comes to injuries. Major injuries pummeled the league in recent years, and they've targeted the stars. More»
Michael Pina

Replacing The Irreplaceable

It's a tough topic, yet one that must be faced. Paul George's injury is tragic, nightmarish even, but the Pacers must look at it from a business perspective. Their team, built to contend this season, suddenly has a vital piece missing. Who can fill George's slot? More»
John Perrotto

Keeping Hope Alive

The Mariners have finished in fourth place for four seasons in a row, yet this year they at least have a chance of grabbing the final playoff spot. If they do, it will be in large part thanks to new second baseman Robinson Cano, who has brought production and leadership to Seattle. More»
Sean Highkin

Off Message

Derrick Rose seems to have put his foot in his mouth again. A report this week suggested that the Bulls were unhappy with the lack of effort their star put forth in recruiting Carmelo Anthony. True or not, it speaks to a recurring failure to control the conversation. More»
Matt Brown

Auburn's Bigger Worries

As expected, Nick Marshall's punishment for a marijuana citation was largely inconsequential: He won't start the opener against Arkansas. What's more important to Auburn is a pair of costly injuries already suffered before camp even opened. More»
Sean Highkin

An Unsettling Reminder

Most of Friday's Team USA scrimmage served as a showcase for Derrick Rose's return from injury, until a serious leg injury for Paul George served as a distressing reminder that such bad luck can happen to anyone, anytime. More»
Noah Davis

A Circular Craft

Welcome to the world of time-based distance running, in which races last anywhere from six hours to six days and sometimes even longer. From Aug. 4-10, 60-plus athletes will run around a 413-meter track at the Alaska Dome for the Six Days in the Dome race. More»
Joe Lemire

On the Margins

At the trade deadline, the Yankees were clearly too close in the standings and probably too proud in reputation not to make any moves, but they weren't in position to acquire a true gamechanger. What they got, though, should be helpful during the stretch run. More»
Chuck Culpepper

In the Rough

Golfer Dustin Johnson will likely face many awkward questions after taking a leave of absence from the PGA Tour due to what he said were "personal challenges." Will his return be part of a redemption story or cautionary tale? More»