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Yadier Molina blasts MLB over security for families at WBC

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina blasted Major League Baseball’s security arrangements for the families of players at the World Baseball Classic in Mexico.

“MLB,,, its a shame that you are more interested in making money and not in the security of our family,” Molina said via his Instagram account. “Its a shame that the players have to be worried about the safety of our family when you were supposed to have security for them,, Horrible organization for the this event, no security for the players family,,, its a shame MLB.”

The 16 teams are split into four pools of four teams each, playing first-round games in Seoul, South Korea, Tokyo, Japan, Jalisco, Mexico and Miami, Fla. The first round is a round robin format, with the top two teams from each pool advancing.

The second round features two pools in Tokyo and San Diego, the latter at Petco Park. The second round is also a round robin format, with the top two teams from each pool advancing.

The final four teams will battle in the semifinals and finals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, with the championship game scheduled for Wednesday, March 22.

This is the fourth WBC, with the Dominican Republic hoping for a repeat of its undefeated championship run in 2013. Japan won the first two World Baseball Classics, in 2006 and 2009.

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Marshall has yet to make the playoffs in his career.

Last season wasn’t all that bad for Marshall, especially considering the shoddy play not only at quarterback but at virtually every position on the Jets’ entire offense. Marshall ended the year with 59 catches, 788 yards and three touchdowns. And even though he’ll be 33 in late March, the veteran can still play.

Already the first receiver in NFL history to record 1,000-yard seasons with four different teams, Marshall will now look to do so with his fifth NFL club. Marshall set single-season franchise records in Chicago and New York, and even as a veteran could potentially look to break even more records in the upcoming season.

The Giants made it to the postseason after an 11-5 finish in 2016, but lost in the Wild Card round to the Green Bay Packers. The offense struggled, and Beckham finished the game with just four catches for 28 yards. Marshall’s presence could have made a difference, and he’d like to have the opportunity to make an impact in the postseason.

“I’m tired of watching the playoffs on my couch,” Marshall said, via Martin.

However, Marshall has yet to make the playoffs in his career.

He’ll have a good shot of doing that with his new team in 2017. With the strength of the defense and the addition of Marshall, the Giants are in a better position to make it back to the playoffs next season.

His ascension made the veteran passer an expensive insurance policy — one that didn’t make sense for the team to keep. Cutting Romo brings huge savings for the Cowboys. He was set to count $24.7 million against the team’s salary cap, the highest cost of any player in the NFL. While he’ll still cost the team $19.6 million in dead money, that’s $5.1 of savings next fall and $20 million for 2018.

Now, he’s free to join another team for the first time in his NFL career.7

Keim needs cornerbacks and has a solid crop of players to choose from.

No position has a greater supply and demand than cornerback this year. It’s a premium position, which is why the Los Angeles Rams felt compelled to spend $16.7 million on a franchise tag for Trumaine Johnson, a mid-level starter. According to Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, cornerback is one of three positions that he believes traditionally are difficult to address in free agency.

“The ones that are hard to find: Left tackle, cornerback, quarterback,” Keim said. “Those positions are so hard to find that when you are allocating your money and looking at the big picture, how are you going to divide that money up? If you are going to spend excess money, to me, you spend it on the guys that are hard to find.”

Keim needs cornerbacks and has a solid crop of players to choose from. Top-shelf talent, such as Stephon Gilmore and A.J. Bouye will get huge bucks, but there is a healthy second tier of starters, too, including Dre Kirkpatrick, Logan Ryan, Prince Amukamura and Morris Claiborne, among others. Arizona Coach Bruce Arians indicated that Cardinals cornerback Marcus Cooper was set for a big payday, a sign that even lesser names will get money. Keim noted that versatility in today’s NFL, where you need hybrid players to match up inside and outside, gives players extra value. That’s one reason why we ranked Packers jack-of-all-trades defensive back Micah Hyde so high in our Top 101 Free Agents list.

Teams feel more comfortable paying cornerbacks, in part, because they transcend scheme easily. Arians believes that running backs and defensive backs face the smoothest transition from college to the pros because their roles are similar at both levels. The quick success of young running backs certainly won’t help this year’s older runners get paid in the open market.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day among quarterbacks was Texas A&M’s Trevor Knight. Scouts knew he was athletic and therefore the fact that he led all passers in the 40-yard dash (4.54), vertical jump (35.5 inches) and broad jump (10-foot-5) was not surprising.
Knight also threw the ball better than expected. He underthrew a deep dig route at one point, but adjusted his velocity and timing on the next two throws, showing the ability to respond that coaches will appreciate.7

Will anyone break Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash record?

The standout event of the combine continues to be the 40-yard dash, and Johnson’s run of 4.24 is reaching mythical levels. If there’s a player who could break it this year, it’s Florida State wide receiver Kermit Whitfield. In 2013 he set a Florida state record in the 100-meter dash. Whitfield is the favorite, but don’t discount Southern California cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. He runs the 100 meters on the USC track team, so he is well-suited for the 40.

Dalvin Cook or Leonard Fournette?

This is a question that teams will hotly debate leading up to the draft, and it’s a question that will permeate the combine. Both players are excellent, but stylistically different. Fournette is a 6’1, 235-pound wrecking ball who has the skill to match the Adrian Peterson comparisons. Cook is a better all-around back with more speed and receiving skills. Fournette can be a team’s offense. Cook can take one to another level.

For those reasons, Cook is right. In three years at Florida State, averaged 6.5 yards per carry, finishing with 4,464 yards on 687 attempts. He also caught 79 passes for 935 yards. In total, he had 48 touchdowns.

“You didn’t need to do much blocking for Dalvin,” Florida State offensive tackle Roderick Johnson said. “He’s a great running back. He sticks his foot in the ground, can go vertical and can catch.”

He also comes out of a system at Florida State that has him well-suited for the NFL. Many of the run-game principles the Seminoles use are similar to what pro teams do.

“Coach Fisher’s system definitely helped me transfer over to the NFL level,” Cook said. “When I’m in certain meeting rooms and coach is asking me questions I can relate very well and I think coach Fisher got me very well prepared for this next level. His offense is very intense. It’s a big playbook and the NFL is the same well. I think he got me prepared very good.”7

Janay appeared to initiate the altercation

“That statement is not true. In February, Darren Sanders made contact with the police and the prosecutor in an effort to obtain a copy of the video. Apart from Darren’s efforts, no one from the Ravens ever spoke or communicated with a prosecutor, a judge or anyone else employed by the judicial system in New Jersey regarding Ray Rice, with one exception. At the request of Ray’s defense lawyer, Ozzie, John and I sent a letter addressed to the Clerk’s office in support of Ray’s application for pretrial intervention. The letter was largely devoted to describing Ray’s extensive efforts in the community. According to the article, our letter was one of 30 such letters.”

Per the report, Cass urged Rice’s legal team to get the running back placed in a pretrial intervention program that would help ensure that the video of Rice punching his fiancee would not become public.

He said that Ray and Janay both appeared to be intoxicated, and that they were involved in a heated argument that began outside the elevator and continued inside. As he described it, Janay appeared to initiate the altercation, but they both spit at and struck each other, resulting in Janay falling and hitting her head against the wall railing.

Already trailing 14-0 in the first, Smith held the ball way too long in the red zone and was sacked, putting the Jets in a 3rd-and-22 situation, forcing New York to eventually settle for a field goal (something it would do often Monday night).

Smith settled down as the game went on and had the Jets driving to score in the third, down 24-13. He was injured again, though, as he threw another ill-timed interception in the end zone.

Even as the Jets moved down the field on their last drive, Smith couldn’t find a way to connect with his receivers deep in the Bears’ zone for a chance to tie.7