ink about the 95 wins, and how we got there, and the AL | Forum

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One of the true negatives of Thursday night games is seeing key players, often stars, unable to participate because of the short turnaround. Darwin Thompson Jersey .Thats the case this week for the Arizona Cardinals, whose quarterback, Carson Palmer, remain in the NFLs concussion protocol and is out.With the Cardinals at 1-3, just like their opponent, San Francisco, this is no time to be short-handed. Particularly at that position.Cardinals coach Bruce Arians had been somewhat optimistic about Palmers availability. He even checked with Palmers wife for an evaluation.Well, youre not going to get the real truth from a football player, Arians says. Hes always going to tell you hes ready and hes OK. I was counting on her to tell me what it was really like.Not that Shaelyn Palmer is a doctor. So it will be Drew Stanton behind center.The 49ers have dropped three straight since an opening victory, but they will have their regular signal caller in Blaine Gabbert. Though Gabbert hardly has been a sensation for San Francisco.Short week or not, you cant skip any part of your normal preparation, Gabbert said. If anything, you have to do more, especially from the physical aspect to get your body feeling the way it should by Sunday, which happens to be Thursday this week. And then from a mental aspect ... its just everything is sped up.The disappointing Cardinals (No. 20 Arizona, AP Pro32) are 4-point favorites over the host Niners (No. 31, AP Pro32).CARDINALS, 24-16KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIPThe Bengals came through for us last week, and we will remain in the Buckeye state this time. No, were not taking the Browns. Tom Brady and the PATRIOTS are an obvious choice.No. 3 New England (minus 10) at No. 32 ClevelandWhats the over/under on how many TDs Brady throws -- in the first half?BEST BET: PATRIOTS, 48-13No. 29 Tennessee (plus 4) at No. 26 MiamiDolphins are well rested. That might be only thing they have going right now.UPSET SPECIAL: TITANS, 22-20No. 13 Houston (plus 4 1-2) at No. 2 MinnesotaAnother chance for Texans to prove themselves against quality competition? Nope.VIKINGS, 20-13No. 21 New York Jets (plus 10) at No. 6 PittsburghRight now, Steelers can manhandle anybody.STEELERS, 30-17No. 19 Washington (plus 5) at No. 10 BaltimoreRedskins have won two straight without being very impressive.RAVENS, 21-20No. 30 Chicago (plus 6) at No. 28 IndianapolisColts experiment of no bye after London game works. Barely.COLTS, 27-23No. 4 Philadelphia (minus 3) at No. 27 DetroitThis one scares us. Are Eagles ready to be 4-0? Dont think so.LIONS, 28-27No. 8 Atlanta (plus 6) at No. 1 DenverThis one doesnt scare us, but Broncos defense does.BRONCOS, 24-13No. 11 Cincinnati (pick-em) at No. 12 DallasFinally, Dak Prescott faces a good defense. Not a good thing for Dallas.BENGALS, 28-14No. 25 San Diego (plus 3) at No. 9 OaklandChargers are mastering close defeats. Heres another.RAIDERS, 35-31No. 17 (tie) Buffalo (plus 2 1-2) at No. 14 Los AngelesBoth teams have made a nice turnaround. Rams grab NFC West lead.RAMS, 23-21No. 17 (tie) New York Giants (plus 6 1-2) at No. 7 Green BayUntil Giants get healthy in secondary, they are doomed against top QBs.PACKERS, 30-20No. 24 Tampa Bay (OFF) at No. 16 CarolinaNo line because of Cam Newtons uncertain status. Panthers win with or without him.PANTHERS, 23-21---This Week: Against spread (8-7). Straight up:(8-7)Season Totals: Against spread (28-32-2). Straight up: (36-26)Best Bet: 1/3 against spread, 2-2 straight up.Upset special: 2-2 against spread, 2-2 straight up.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL ;Albert Lewis Jersey . It was the kind of score that might make everyone else wonder which course he was playing. Except that Graeme McDowell saw the whole thing. Crouched behind the 10th green at Sheshan International, McDowell looked over at the powerful American and said, "Ive probably seen 18 of the best drives Ive seen all year in the last two days. Reggie Ragland Jersey . Irving scored 23 points, Tristan Thompson had 20 points and 10 rebounds and the Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets 117-109 on Friday night. http:///...rsey-large-136n.html . -- An ugly goal by Nick Bonino helped the Anaheim Ducks overcome the defensive-minded Phoenix Coyotes on a night when their ragged power play continued to struggle. ARLINGTON, Texas -- General manager Jon Daniels expects more postseason chances for the Texas Rangers to pursue that elusive World Series title.While the Rangers lost in the AL Division Series to Toronto for the second consecutive year, this time getting swept, Daniels said Tuesday that he doesnt buy into any contention that there could be a shrinking window of opportunity for the AL West champions.If were doing our jobs right ... I dont believe that theres like an open-and-close period, Daniels said. I think good organizations, regardless of sport, find a way to win year in, year out. ... I dont think of it like weve got X-number of years and then weve got to about-face or change plans. I think we can be nimble and adjust as we go.Daniels just marked his 11th anniversary as GM of the Rangers, who have made the postseason five of the last seven seasons. That includes the franchises only World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011, and Texas missed the playoffs in 2013 after losing an AL wild-card tiebreaker game.While proud of what the organization has accomplished year after year, Daniels said the Rangers expect to keep winning.At the same time, you start over for next year, he said.The Rangers will go into 2017 with All-Star aces Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish at the top of their rotation, though both struggled in their ALDS starts. Third baseman Adrian Beltre will be back for his 20th major league season, and shortstop Elvis Andrus is the teams longest-tenured position player after eight seasons and still only 28.When asked Tuesday what this seasons team was missing, Beltre responded, A ring.At 37 years old, Beltre knows he is running out of chances to win a World Series, even if the team keeps making the playoffs year after year. The four-time All-Star, 58 hits shy of 3,000 in his career, is signed through 2018 after gettting two years added to his deal last spring. Blake Bell Jersey. It hurts more because you do believe that you can do it, you do know you have the pieces to do it, said Beltre, who thought this might be his World Series title season. Its what drives me.Daniels said Texas will pick up the $5.25 million club option on Jonathan Lucroy, the catcher acquired in an Aug. 1 trade from Milwaukee.The Rangers have decisions to make on several pending free agents who played prominent roles: All-Star center fielder Ian Desmond, first baseman Mitch Moreland, right-hander Colby Lewis, outfielder Carlos Gomez and outfielder-DH Carlos Beltran.All of the free agents are guys that under the right circumstances we would welcome back, Daniels said.A primary offseason focus will be to bolster the rotation, while also determining what to do about center field and first base. Converted shortstop Desmond signed an $8 million, one-year deal last spring after turning down a qualifying offer with Washington, and Moreland is a free agent for the first time.The Rangers had AL-high 95 wins this season, and would have had home-field advantage through the postseason. But at their home ballpark Tuesday, packing boxes were spread throughout the clubhouse. They were cleaning out lockers only a week after working out there while still waiting to see who they would play in the ALDS.We can look back in retrospect and think about the 95 wins, and how we got there, and the AL West championship, second-year manager Jeff Banister said. But really, truly the culture and chemistry of this group -- one mission -- and that was to win a World Series.And that will be the goal again when the Rangers get to spring training in Arizona next February. ' ' '
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