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Sports & Politics Intersect: Nevada police reopen sexual assault case against Ronaldo

“Don't take another woman's life as you did mine!!" - Kathryn Mayorga, in a letter read to Cristiano Ronaldo as part of a 2010 mediation settlement Police in Las Vegas have reopened a sexual assault case linked to superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who is in
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Sports & Politics Intersect: Nevada police reopen sexual assault case against Ronaldo

“Don't take another woman's life as you did mine!!" - Kathryn Mayorga, in a letter read to Cristiano Ronaldo as part of a 2010 mediation settlement Police in Las Vegas have reopened a sexual assault case linked to superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who is in his first season with Italian power Juventus, after a civil suit was filed in Clark County district court on Sept. 27 seeking to invalidate a 2010 out-of-court agreement between Kathryn Mayorga and the soccer star. The alleged incident was reported by the 34-year-old Mayorga, who was 25 at the time she met Ronaldo at a Las Vegas nightclub in June 2009. As the evening progressed, Mayorga says the then-24-year-old star footballer, who was about to begin his lengthy and successful stint with Real Madrid, raped her in a penthouse suite of the Palms Hotel & Casino.Mayorga reported the incident shortly after but was hesitant to name Ronaldo as the suspect. As time passed and Ronaldo became involved in the matter, Mayorga agreed to a $375,000 settlement that inclu

A superior offseason has the Rams in a stronger position than the Chiefs

Positioned next to one another atop most major pre-Week 5 power polls, the Rams and Chiefs arrived at these destinations differently.Los Angeles moved aggressively this offseason, forming a team most expected to vie for the NFC’s slot in Super Bowl LIII. Ka
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A superior offseason has the Rams in a stronger position than the Chiefs

Positioned next to one another atop most major pre-Week 5 power polls, the Rams and Chiefs arrived at these destinations differently.Los Angeles moved aggressively this offseason, forming a team most expected to vie for the NFC’s slot in Super Bowl LIII. Kansas City seemed to be gearing up for 2019 and beyond. Yet, the Chiefs are either well-ahead of schedule — armed with the MVP favorite through four games — or this is a higher-end version of their 2017 start/tease.Both teams should be taken seriously as contenders. Each has an elite offensive mind running the show, and both franchises appear to have found quarterbacks who are in line to carry them well into (and perhaps through) the 2020s.It’s just harder to view the Chiefs as a surefire threat to advance deep into January, given their recent history and what happened between the former Missouri co-inhabitants this year.Kansas City shipped its top (healthy) defender to Los Angeles for a return so modest it should have forced the Chiefs to break off talks. M

What would it mean if Texas is finally back, folks?

Imagine sautéing potatoes in butter, then adding sausage, then packing them around some kind of “loaf” manufactured from semisoft cheese, then deep-frying the whole thing, then serving it in the skins of the very potatoes you just saturated, topped with
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What would it mean if Texas is finally back, folks?

Imagine sautéing potatoes in butter, then adding sausage, then packing them around some kind of “loaf” manufactured from semisoft cheese, then deep-frying the whole thing, then serving it in the skins of the very potatoes you just saturated, topped with more cheese, more bacon, and a sour-cream sauce intended to ensure cardiac arrest. This is apparently one of the featured cuisines at this week’s Texas State Fair, which culminates in the Texas-Oklahoma football game at the adjacent Cotton Bowl, presuming you survive to see it.In a deeply divided America, the state fair’s food is both a Lipitor endorsement and a paean to our nation’s shared fealty for defiant excess, which is exactly the spirit ESPN broadcaster Joe Tessitore embraced in 2016, when—after Texas outlasted Notre Dame, 50-47, in a pair of overtimes—declared that, “Texas is back, folks.”Tessitore, of course, in attempting to infuse artificial drama into a game played the first week of the season, could not have been more over-the-top wrong. Texas we

College football games of note: Week 6

College football in Week 5 was kind of a mixed bag — some games fizzled out before they even really started, some games never got off the ground and only a handful offered true edge-of-your-seat entertainment.I skipped the Alabama game, dozed during Georgi
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College football games of note: Week 6

College football in Week 5 was kind of a mixed bag — some games fizzled out before they even really started, some games never got off the ground and only a handful offered true edge-of-your-seat entertainment.I skipped the Alabama game, dozed during Georgia and LSU’s victories but was wide awake for Clemson’s backup QB win and Ohio State’s bubble-screen victory. I’m not going to say I told you so about Stanford, but I did. Oklahoma’s QB Kyler Murray passed for as many touchdowns as BYU scored points in the Cougars loss to Washington, and San Jose State went into almost as many overtimes, which we can’t be sure really happened since no one on the East Coast was awake to see it. UCF remains unbeaten, extending its win streak to 17, and Chip Kelly remains winless at UCLA, with the Bruins at 0-4 for the first time since 1971. Meanwhile, the Colorado Buffaloes are the only unbeaten Pac-12 team left and are 4-0 for the first time since 1998.This week, college football offers up some solid games between ranked oppon

Odds to win the World Series

We already had a great preview to playoff baseball with two Game 163 tiebreakers in the National League for the first time in history, followed by two exciting wild card games. There are eight teams left to fight it out for the World Series, with the hope tha
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Odds to win the World Series

We already had a great preview to playoff baseball with two Game 163 tiebreakers in the National League for the first time in history, followed by two exciting wild card games. There are eight teams left to fight it out for the World Series, with the hope that the great baseball we've seen already will continue.Here's a look at each team's odds to win the World Series as of the conclusion of the wild card games on Wednesday, Oct. 3. Odds are from Bovada.Houston Astros: +325The defending World Champs are arguably even more stacked than they were last season. They won 103 games to claim the AL West and led MLB with a plus-263 run differential due in large part to their amazing starting rotation. Led by Cy Young candidates Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, the Astros pitching is certainly a force to be reckoned with, and the bullpen also had the best ERA in baseball. The lineup remains outstanding from top to bottom, but there are still concerns about star shortstop Carlos Correa after a poor second half and bac

The case for the Celtics to win the championship

Much like in the past two seasons, the Golden State Warriors will begin the 2018-19 NBA season as the heavy favorites to win the championship (-195 on Bovada). While a three-peat seems inevitable, the NBA is still going to make them play out the season…and
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The case for the Celtics to win the championship

Much like in the past two seasons, the Golden State Warriors will begin the 2018-19 NBA season as the heavy favorites to win the championship (-195 on Bovada). While a three-peat seems inevitable, the NBA is still going to make them play out the season…and who knows — maybe the Warriors have bad injury luck, or the DeMarcus Cousins experiment throws off their chemistry or Kevin Durant's and Klay Thompson’s impending free-agency decisions distract the team just enough to allow a hungrier team to catch Golden State by surprise. As the league stands today, there are seven other teams that can make a legitimate argument for winning the title if the Warriors falter: Boston Celtics (+500), Houston Rockets (+850), Los Angeles Lakers (+1,000), Toronto Raptors (+1,400), Philadelphia 76ers (+1,600), Oklahoma City Thunder (+3,000) and Utah Jazz (+7,500).Today, Yardbarker’s «The case for» series will head to Beantown to take a look at the Boston Celtics.The case for the Celtics is their synchronized organizational greatn

Touch 'em all: The 2018 MLB postseason primer

After a regular season that was a tale of two very different stories between the National League and American League, respectively, the pursuit of the pennant officially kicks off now.The American League is one that has been defined by elites more in 2018 tha
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Touch 'em all: The 2018 MLB postseason primer

After a regular season that was a tale of two very different stories between the National League and American League, respectively, the pursuit of the pennant officially kicks off now.The American League is one that has been defined by elites more in 2018 than in any other year in history, and it will be a big swinging battle of the heavyweights. Meanwhile, the National League stands to be defined more by the inches than the miles, as sorting out the Senior Circuit’s top seed required all 162 games, plus a couple of extra ones.While all the story lines of the first six months of the season could easily go out of the window in October, there are still plenty of factors to recognize that could define who walks away with the Commissioner’s Trophy in a month. With that in mind, here is a look at what could make — or quickly break — each team in the MLB postseason picture. Atlanta BravesHow they got here: By riding an 18-game turnaround from a year ago, fueled by a handful of young stars having breakout seasons to

10 storylines to follow heading into the MLB postseason

Is Chris Sale healthy?Boston finished the regular season with the most wins in MLB, yet there is one question that is making New Englanders lose speed. Is Boston's ace, Chris Sale, healthy for the playoff? The right-hander has thrown only 17 innings since th
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10 storylines to follow heading into the MLB postseason

Is Chris Sale healthy?Boston finished the regular season with the most wins in MLB, yet there is one question that is making New Englanders lose speed. Is Boston's ace, Chris Sale, healthy for the playoff? The right-hander has thrown only 17 innings since the start of August after two DL stints for shoulder issues, and his velocity was notably down in his last outing. Sale claims that the velocity is due to mechanical issues. Whether that's actually the case or he's hiding an injury, it's clear that the Red Sox have reason to be concerned. Boston has a deep rotation, but no one else in it has held a candle to Sale's ability. Can the Cubs overcome their bullpen issues? Theo Epstein and company built a deep bullpen this season, and it's about to be tested. The Cubs lost closer Brandon Morrow to an arm injury, and Pedro Strop is questionable to return during October due a hamstring problem. Those injuries have left Joe Maddon to mix and match late in games, using a combination of Steve Cishek, Justin Wilson, and

The case for the Lakers to win the championship

Much like the past two seasons, the Golden State Warriors will begin the 2018-19 NBA season as the heavy favorites to win the championship (-195 on Bovada). While a three-peat seems inevitable, the NBA is still going to make them play-out the season… and wh
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The case for the Lakers to win the championship

Much like the past two seasons, the Golden State Warriors will begin the 2018-19 NBA season as the heavy favorites to win the championship (-195 on Bovada). While a three-peat seems inevitable, the NBA is still going to make them play-out the season… and who knows - maybe the Warriors have bad injury luck or the DeMarcus Cousins experiment throws-off their chemistry or Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson’s impending free agency decisions distract the team just enough to allow a hungrier team to catch them by surprise. As the league stands today, there are seven other teams that can make a legitimate argument that they could win the title if the Warriors falter – the Boston Celtics (+500), Houston Rockets (+850), Los Angeles Lakers (+1000), Toronto Raptors (+1400), Philadelphia 76ers (+1600), Oklahoma City Thunder (+3000) and Utah Jazz (+7500).Yardbarker’s ‘The case for’ series will examine all eight contenders over the next two weeks, starting with LeBron James and the Lakers.The case for the Lakers begins and end

College football pick-six: James Franklin is not elite, ND may be elite and UK is...something?

A weekly journey through the vast landscape of college football, along with a few brief asides.Cliched storyline of the weekLet’s just get this out of the way and then leave it behind, preferably until the end of time: I have been watching Penn State play f
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College football pick-six: James Franklin is not elite, ND may be elite and UK is...something?

A weekly journey through the vast landscape of college football, along with a few brief asides.Cliched storyline of the weekLet’s just get this out of the way and then leave it behind, preferably until the end of time: I have been watching Penn State play football for an achingly long time, and what happened on the final snap of the game against Ohio State Saturday night will not cease to perplex me anytime soon. James Franklin made a baffling decision to take the ball out of the hands of his quarterback, Trace McSorley, and Franklin admitted afterward that he made the wrong call. And now the question is: Can Franklin recover from burning through two years of accumulated good will in the course of one play?I do not know the answer, but I do know that we received an oft-infuriating answer to the question I had posed on Friday — Penn State has not caught up to Ohio State. After the game, Franklin reverted to his default position as a full-on, used-car salesman, launching an emotive stemwinder centered around th

Earl Thomas’ gesture was a refutation of the NFL's team-first culture

Conventional NFL fandom ties people to organizations. Perhaps saying fans who favor teams first and foremost are “just rooting for laundry” is a little glib, but it does drive at a point that fans often disregard what’s best — or even fair — for th
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Earl Thomas’ gesture was a refutation of the NFL's team-first culture

Conventional NFL fandom ties people to organizations. Perhaps saying fans who favor teams first and foremost are “just rooting for laundry” is a little glib, but it does drive at a point that fans often disregard what’s best — or even fair — for the players. And if the fans don’t care, there’s nothing holding the teams and their owners to the fire either.Even in fantasy football, when players are mostly divorced from the teams they play for, they’re still just cogs distilled to pure production. It’s not unheard of for fans to follow individual athletes, but it’s the exception to the norm. The public is programmed to see players as commodifiable cogs, only deserving of concern insofar that they’re helping our teams, real or fantasy.So it shouldn’t be surprising that Earl Thomas flipping off his own sideline as he was carted off the field after breaking his leg has raised the hackles of quite a few insiders — who benefit from enforcing the status quo. Just hours after it happened, Thomas was being lectured by T

Heisman hopefuls: Week 5

Heisman candidates solidified their resumes in Week 5, as the stakes in college football only get higher. Quarterbacks put up some gaudy numbers, while a pair of relatively forgotten running backs pushed their teams' and respective Q-ratings over the top.Her
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Heisman hopefuls: Week 5

Heisman candidates solidified their resumes in Week 5, as the stakes in college football only get higher. Quarterbacks put up some gaudy numbers, while a pair of relatively forgotten running backs pushed their teams' and respective Q-ratings over the top.Here are five players who made the strongest case for the Heisman this week. Will Grier, West Virginia MountaineersYou knew Grier was going to light up the scoreboard when he saw Texas Tech across the line of scrimmage, and he didn’t disappoint. Grier wasted no time wrecking the Red Raiders, passing for nearly 200 yards in the first quarter with two touchdowns. He didn’t finish the game as hot but still passed for a total of 370 yards and three scores. It wasn’t an eye-popping performance, but it was one that will help him stay in the Heisman conversation for another week.Kyler Murray, Oklahoma SoonersMurray should be late for more meetings. After being kept out of the first series as a disciplinary action, the Sooners quarterback handed out a little punishme

Ryder Cup storylines after day two

Two days down with one to go at the 42nd Ryder Cup.The Americans are certainly up against it, trailing 10-6 heading into Sunday's single matches. A huge task awaits captain Jim Furyk's group as it tries to pull off a minor miracle and prevent a sixth straigh
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Ryder Cup storylines after day two

Two days down with one to go at the 42nd Ryder Cup.The Americans are certainly up against it, trailing 10-6 heading into Sunday's single matches. A huge task awaits captain Jim Furyk's group as it tries to pull off a minor miracle and prevent a sixth straight loss on European soil.The United States needs eight points to retain the Cup while Europe is looking at 4 1/2 after winning Saturday's morning session 3-1 before splitting the afternoon contests. The Americans were the favorite on paper prior to the event, and now must live up to that distinction as Furyk will go top-heavy with his singles lineup for Sunday.As we prepare for one more day of Ryder Cup golf, here's a look at five storylines following Saturday's play and heading into Sunday:It's 10-6 time againFor the third time in the last four Ryder Cups, the team in the lead after two days holds a 10-6 advantage. Europe did so en route to winning the 2014 title and the U.S. held the same advantage going into Sunday in 2012.Of course, American golf fans d

Sports & Politics Intersect: Eric Reid finds safety with Panthers

"This was a football decision, signing a player who can help us win football games.” - Marty Hurney, Carolina Panthers general managerOn Thursday, the Carolina Panthers signed free agent Eric Reid. The free safety was not re-signed by the San Francisco 49er
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Sports & Politics Intersect: Eric Reid finds safety with Panthers

"This was a football decision, signing a player who can help us win football games.” - Marty Hurney, Carolina Panthers general managerOn Thursday, the Carolina Panthers signed free agent Eric Reid. The free safety was not re-signed by the San Francisco 49ers the season after he joined then-teammate Colin Kaepernick in kneeling to protest police brutality and racial inequality. That Reid now has a job isn't a complete shocker. Torrey Smith went on the record earlier this week by stating that the Panthers should hire his former teammate. Smith even offered to talk to his coaches on Reid's behalf. It's unclear how much, if any, impact Smith’s endorsement had. What is obvious is that Carolina has been plagued by injuries, and there was a need at the position. The team’s general manager said as much, noting that signing Reid had nothing to do with politics.But while politics may not have been a factor, the recent change in ownership certainly was. As Sports Illustrated’s Jonathan Jones noted, Reid’s addition to th

Ryder Cup storylines after day one

The first day of the 2018 Ryder Cup is in the books, and the U.S. has some work to do.It was a tale of two rounds at France's Le Golf National on Friday.The Americans roared out of the gate, going 3-1 in the morning fourballs and possibly thinking repeat. How
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Ryder Cup storylines after day one

The first day of the 2018 Ryder Cup is in the books, and the U.S. has some work to do.It was a tale of two rounds at France's Le Golf National on Friday.The Americans roared out of the gate, going 3-1 in the morning fourballs and possibly thinking repeat. However, the Europeans had other ideas and more than just regrouped for the afternoon foursomes (alternate shot). In dominating and historic fashion, Europe swept the four-match session to take a 5-3 lead into Day 2.The sudden turnaround from morning to afternoon should have the U.S. reeling and captain Jim Furyk searching for answers. In the history of the Ryder Cup (which began in 1927), no team has lost a session 4-0 and gone on to win the Cup.There is plenty to talk about from Day 1 and to look ahead to Day 2. Here are five storylines to keep in mind following the first day of the 42nd Ryder Cup:Lefty looks like a liabilityThere were many who questioned Furyk's decision to select Phil Mickelson for his 12th, and likely, final Ryder Cup. The U.S. captain

Has Penn State finally caught up with Ohio State?

A little more than 700 days ago, the balance of power in the eastern half of the Big Ten was readily apparent. Saturday morning, Oct. 22, 2016: Ohio State was ranked second in the country, Michigan was ranked third and virtually everyone else was irrelevant.
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Has Penn State finally caught up with Ohio State?

A little more than 700 days ago, the balance of power in the eastern half of the Big Ten was readily apparent. Saturday morning, Oct. 22, 2016: Ohio State was ranked second in the country, Michigan was ranked third and virtually everyone else was irrelevant. And given the juggernauts that both appeared to be, that didn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.Michigan State was struggling through a 3-9 season but felt like a perpetual underdog, Indiana, Maryland and Rutgers were in the midst of yet another cycle of perpetual wheel-spinning and Penn State was a lingering question mark. It was a team that appeared on the verge of bailing on third-year coach James Franklin, who was (and still is) viewed by some as more of a huckster than an actual football coach.That night, a two-loss and unranked Penn State team hosted Ohio State, and while it was a night game and a home game for the Nittany Lions — just as this Saturday's game will be — even the broadcaster on the call, Chris Fowler, was “not expecting Penn State

College football games of note: Week 5

If you are still feeling a Week 4 college football hangover, don’t worry. You are not alone. The collegiate gridiron itself was a little tipsy with near upsets from teams like Army and Iowa, an insane comeback from the Stanford Cardinal as well as program h
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College football games of note: Week 5

If you are still feeling a Week 4 college football hangover, don’t worry. You are not alone. The collegiate gridiron itself was a little tipsy with near upsets from teams like Army and Iowa, an insane comeback from the Stanford Cardinal as well as program history made by Old Dominion with its 49-35 win over No. 13 Virginia Tech. And, no, your vision isn’t blurry: Nebraska is still winless at 0-3, Miami benched starting quarterback Malik Rosier in favor of the future, aka N’Kosi Perry, and the Kentucky Wildcats football team is still undefeated after knocking off No. 14 Mississippi State. Oh, and, yes, Texas Tech freshman quarterback Alan Bowman threw for almost 400 yards in the Red Raiders' 41-17 win over Oklahoma State.With as lit as last weekend was, Week 5 has decided to keep the party going with a plethora of games featuring ranked opponents, meaning lots of movement in the polls, if you are into that sort of thing. Or if you are like Lane Kiffin and don’t believe in a ranking system for toughness, there

10 NBA training camp position battles to watch

Position battles in the NBA are a little different than those in most other major sports because unless Tom Thibodeau is the coach, both players will get enough minutes over the course of the season to display their talents. At the same time, in a league that
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10 NBA training camp position battles to watch

Position battles in the NBA are a little different than those in most other major sports because unless Tom Thibodeau is the coach, both players will get enough minutes over the course of the season to display their talents. At the same time, in a league that’s all about confidence, winning or losing a starting position or important role out of training camp can greatly impact a player’s confidence or coach’s confidence in that player for the rest of the season. With that brief introduction, here are 10 interesting training camp position battles to keep an eye as the season nears: 1) Boston Celtics – Pecking order at wing (Gordon Hayward vs. Jayson Tatum vs. Jaylen Brown)The NBA’s most star-laden role battle in years features an All-Star coming off a devastating injury and two athletic rising stars who took advantage of their extra minutes and opportunities last season. This battle isn’t so much a position battle as it is an alpha-dog hierarchy for Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. With Kyrie Irv

10 NBA teams that could upset the Warriors (maybe)

A lot of basketball fans are ready to write off the 2018-19 season already. The Golden State Warriors are a juggernaut. They have won three of the last four NBA titles, and they just added DeMarcus Cousins. We should just give up and welcome our new basketbal
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10 NBA teams that could upset the Warriors (maybe)

A lot of basketball fans are ready to write off the 2018-19 season already. The Golden State Warriors are a juggernaut. They have won three of the last four NBA titles, and they just added DeMarcus Cousins. We should just give up and welcome our new basketball overlords, right? Well, maybe not. No team is unbeatable. The Warriors could be upset, and these are the 10 teams that could do it…possibly…if everything breaks right. Golden State is amazing, after all.Houston RocketsHow quickly we forget that if not for a Chris Paul injury, the Rockets could have easily taken down the Warriors just last season. The offseason hasn’t gone great, as they’ve lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. They also added Carmelo Anthony, which is honestly subtraction by addition at this point. However, they still have reigning MVP James Harden, the point god Paul and the up-and-coming Clint Capela. This is still the second-best team in the West. Maybe this time, it’s the Warriors that suffer the injury.Boston CelticsMaking it out

The 2018 MLB all-rookie team

Whether they are blue-chip prospects or less-touted minor leaguers just trying to make a name for themselves, first-year big leaguers provide intrigue in every MLB season. And this season has been no different. While some of the youngsters on this list are al
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The 2018 MLB all-rookie team

Whether they are blue-chip prospects or less-touted minor leaguers just trying to make a name for themselves, first-year big leaguers provide intrigue in every MLB season. And this season has been no different. While some of the youngsters on this list are already well on their way to super stardom, some lesser-known guys really found a way to break through and contribute to their teams as well. Let's take a look at the Yardbarker 2018 MLB all-rookie team.CatcherJorge Alfaro, Philadelphia PhilliesCatcher is seemingly the most difficult position on the diamond to fill with a legitimate star, and most teams are happy enough to roll out a serviceable defensive backstop who can add a little pop at the dish. Alfaro has been every bit of that for Philadelphia in 2018. In just shy of 350 at-bats, he's launched 10 homers and clubbed 16 doubles, providing a right-handed threat at the bottom of the order. But defensively he's been even more impressive. The 25-year-old has gunned down over 35 percent of would be base st

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