49ers training camp: Top 10 storylines

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SANTA CLARA – Training camp No. 2 of the Kyle Shanahan era is upon the 49ers. It’s also the first one with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, so greater expectations and increased clarity abound.

At least 10 questions do linger around the revitalized franchise heading into Wednesday’s formal reporting date. Let’s study them:

10. Do they need Dez Bryant at wide receiver?

Using a second-round draft pick on Dante Pettis showed the 49ers’ desire to jazz up their receiving corps. So there isn’t exactly room for Dallas Cowboys castoff Dez Bryant, who turns 30 at midseason.

The 49ers seem set with Pettis joining last year’s three key receivers – Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor, the latter of whom is coming off back surgery. Maybe Kendrick Bourne can be the red-zone target that Bryant once was for Dallas.

San Francisco 49ers’ Kendrick Bourne (84) celebrates against Arizona Cardinals’ Tramon Williams (25) in the fourth quarter of their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)

9. Which right guard will start?

Speaking of former Cowboys, Jonathan Cooper could thrust himself into the starting right guard spot. Cooper did not practice in the offseason program while recovering from knee surgery. He’s getting paid like a starter ($4 million) and thus has the lead over Joshua Garnett (2016 first-round pick from Stanford) and Mike Person (the probable backup center who played under Shanahan in Atlanta). Laken Tomlinson, fresh off a contract extension, is locked in at left guard next to Weston Richburg, the high-priced replacement to Daniel Kilgore.

Joshua Garnett had an encouraging offseason after missing the 2017 season and more must be done to win the right guard job. (Photo …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

      

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred got into a bizarre fight with the Angels about Mike Trout’s popularity

Mike Trout high five

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made some odd comments about Angels outfielder Mike Trout over the All-Star break, regarding the superstar’s popularity.
The Angels responded in defense of Trout, highlighting the many ways that he serves as an ambassador of the game.
Trout himself assured baseball fans that there was no beef between him and the commissioner, saying he merely wanted to get back to playing.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and the Los Angeles Angels have engaged in a bizarre argument regarding Mike Trout’s popularity over the All-Star break.

The debate started with some odd comments from the commissioner to USA Today.

“Mike has made decisions on what he wants to do, doesn’t want to do, how he wants to spend his free time or not spend his free time,” Manfred said in the hours before MLB’s All-Star Game at Nationals Park. “I think we could help him make his brand very big.

“But he has to make a decision to engage. It takes time and effort.”

It’s not often you see a commissioner throw his sport’s biggest star under the bus, but there was Manfred, essentially saying that it was Trout’s fault that he, and in turn, the sport, were not as popular as they could be.

In the same USA Today piece, Trout spoke plainly about how he engages with marketing and promoting himself.

“I try to do as much as I can, but keep it to a point where I can still play baseball,” Trout said. “Obviously you want to get out there, but you’ve got to pick and choose, for sure.”

Trout’s understated response was fitting. He’s been one of the best baseball players on the planet from the moment he got called up to the majors seven years ago — he does not have to be concerned with the prominence of his personality …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

Never mind the Commons arithmetic – Sinn Féin isn’t coming to save Brexit

Sinn Fein address the media outside Westminster

The numbers are tight enough for the republicans’ seven MPs to swing key votes should they take their seats – but they won’t.

Brexit has always been a parliamentary game of fine margins but this week it has been especially uncomfortable for all sides – including Sinn Féin, which wasn’t even on the pitch. But therein lies the political pain for the republicans.

Several key amdendments to Brexit legislation – the net effect of which could have been the prevention of a hard border – would have been defeated or delivered with the votes of its seven MPs, who are all avowedly anti-Brexit but do not take their seats.

Two amendments tabled by the European Research Group to the customs bill, which effectively kill Theresa May’s backstop plan for the Irish border and her favoured customs model, were passed by three votes, while an attempt by Tory Remainers to amend the trade bill to keep the UK in a customs union with the EU lost by six votes. One would struggle to find a starker illustration of what Sinn Fein’s absence means in practice.

Could it now heed the calls of other parties in Dublin to abandon their policy of abstentionism for Ireland’s sake? The answer is still no, and will remain no even as Brexit’s chaotic passage through Westminster gets even messier.

You can question that all you like but the answer, no matter how hard justifying it becomes, will remain the same: Sinn Féin MPs have a mandate not to take their seats, and by their logic doing so would defeat the object of their existence (especially when you consider that two of those seats were won in bitter green-on-green fights with the moderate nationalist SDLP, which did take its seats).

But in the spirit of adding to the sum of …read more

Source:: New Statesman

      

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