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15 overreactions to the first few days of the 2021 MLB season



15 overreactions to the first few days of the 2021 MLB season

It doesn’t take long for baseball fans to make definitive statements about a season. Only a handful of games is necessary for some to preemptively judge everything a success, a failure, a lot of fun or a certain 180-ish days of frustration.

Despite knowing that a lot can happen during the course of a 162-game season, that there will be multiple ebbs and flows, that almost nothing you see the first week of the season should be be trusted as baseball gospel, it’s often hard for fans to not jump to all kinds of wild conclusions. And it’s usually all very silly.

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So, after four days of MLB action in 2021, here are 15 overreactions to what we’ve seen so far.

The Orioles are gonna shock the world. The team widely expected to be the worst in baseball, the team given a literal 0.0 percent chance of reaching the postseason, has started the season 3-0. Next stop: Toppling the record 13-0 starts of the 1982 Braves and 1987 Brewers. The 1988 Orioles smile with approval.

The Phillies might go 162-0. They swept the defending NL East champion Braves in the opening series, allowing just three runs. Not just that, but the formerly unreliable bullpen looked great. As Rob McElhenney points out, there’s really nothing preventing a perfect season in Philly.

Freddie Freeman’s MVP season was a fluke. The Braves’ veteran has started the season 0 for 9 and has an anemic on-base percentage of .250. Why would the Braves even want to extend a guy who’s this bad?

The new-look Mets will probably never get to play. Even though they’re supposed to finally play their first game today, something will prevent it. Mets fans aren’t allowed to have nice things.

Elsewhere in New York, it turns out that the Yankees are bad. They’ve started 1-2, their offense is terrible and they’re in fifth place in the AL East. It’s somewhat miraculous that nobody’s been fired yet.

It also turns out that the White Sox are bad and not good. After an Opening Day win, they’re now 1-3 and spiraling toward a hugely disappointing season. The Tony La Russa experiment has failed.

The Dodgers are good but not great this year. They lost to the Rockies, for goodness sake. The Cody Bellinger-Justin Turner base running fiasco on Opening Day was some strong evidence that the magic is over in Los Angeles.

The Astros are 4-0 and are back to being America’s favorite scrappy baseball team. Quite possibly the best feel-good story of the season.

The Cubs are also back! They’re in first place, tied with the Reds. But that might not last: The Reds have the highest run-differential in the National League (+9), so it’s best to prepare yourself for a Red October.

Rookie Yermin Mercedes is on pace to have the greatest hitting season of all time. Entering play Monday, he’s batting .643 with a 1.643 OPS for the White Sox. He started the season 8 for 8, which had never happened before. He’s amazing. Make sure to enjoy this history as it unfolds.

But if Mercedes should falter, don’t worry because …

Eric Hosmer is also on pace to have the greatest hitting season of all time. Entering play Monday, he’s hitting .636 and has an OPS of 2.030 for the Padres. He’s amazing. Make sure to enjoy this history as it unfolds.

Meanwhile, fellow Padre Fernando Tatis Jr. is hitting just .188. He’s very overrated. Sell those rookie cards now.

Shohei Ohtani is the new Best Angel. Mike Trout is still a fine player, but the two-way Ohtani is the more exciting one. The numbers don’t lie: Ohtani has two homers, while Trout has zero homers. Plus, Ohtani threw a ball 101 mph Sunday night.

The only one of the second generation Blue Jays stars who’s any good is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Vladdy is hitting a robust .333 and has a home run. Bo Bichette (.167) and Cavan Biggio (.083) are both failing to hit their weight. Extremely disappointing, but we probably shouldn’t have hyped them up so much.

The Oakland A’s are as bad as a baseball team can be. They’re 0-4 and have an MLB-worst run differential of minus 26. Moneyball is dead.

No matter your baseball emotions after a handful of games, it’s probably best to temper them at least a little. More likely than not, teams and players will turn out just about as expected by the time we get to October. So whether you’re on a baseball high or a baseball low after these first few games, things almost certainly aren’t as good or bad as they seem.

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Is Julian Edelman a Hall of Famer? Twitter debates retired receiver’s credentials



Is Julian Edelman a Hall of Famer? Twitter debates retired receiver's credentials

Julian Edelman called it quits Monday, announcing his retirement after an 11-year NFL career, all of it spent with the Patriots.

Edelman’s final stat line: 620 receptions for 6,866 receiving yards (11 yards per reception) and 36 receiving touchdowns; 58 rushes for 413 yards (7.1 yards per carry); 177 punt returns for 1,986 yards and four touchdowns. His yardage ranks 156h in NFL history, and his receiving touchdowns are tied for 261st.

Zero Pro Bowl selections. Three Super Bowl rings. One Super Bowl MVP. And a member of the Patriots’ 2010 All-Decade team.

Now, the ensuing debate: Are those numbers good enough to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (which Edelman won’t be eligible for until 2026)? The pure numbers say no, but that didn’t stop Twitter users from making “HOFer” and “Edelman” trend Monday evening as they discussed Edelman’s Hall of Fame credentials.

MORE: Why did Patriots cut Julian Edelman? Failed physical only part of New England roster move

Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer in May 2019 made a compelling argument that Edelman’s Hall of Fame case isn’t so cut and dry. Working in Edelman’s favor is the fact that only Jerry Rice ranks ahead of Edelman in postseason receptions (151 to Edelman’s 118) and receiving yards (2,245 to Edelman’s 1,442). He was also one of the favorite targets of Tom Brady — himself a first-ballot Hall of Famer — as the two won three Super Bowls together.

But Edelman only led the Patriots three times in receiving yards, and never put together more than 1,117 yards in a season (in 2019, his last fully healthy season). He had three 1,000-yard receiving seasons and never scored more than seven receiving touchdowns a year. People were also quick to point out his stats pale in comparison to other non-Hall of Famers with considerably better stats, including Hines Ward, who in 2021 failed to make it into Canton for the fifth consecutive year.

Regardless of whether Edelman makes it into the Hall of Fame, the fact that his candidacy is so hotly debated — not even 24 hours removed from announcing his retirement — is a testament to his impact on the game.

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Why did Patriots cut Julian Edelman? Failed physical only part of New England roster move



Why did Patriots cut Julian Edelman? Failed physical only part of New England roster move

The Patriots sent shockwaves throughout the NFL on Monday — tremors, at least — with the announcement that they would cut veteran receiver Julian Edelman.

Multiple reports suggest that New England cut Edelman, 34, because he failed his physical; he would have played his 12th season in the league in 2021 after missing the final 10 games of the 2020 season while recovering from knee surgery.

That said, New England’s decision to cut Edelman was more than just a simple failed physical. Either way, Monday’s decision could put the cap on an 11-year career that saw Edelman catch 620 passes for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns and win three Super Bowls.

NFL MOCK DRAFTS 2021: Compare Mel Kiper, Daniel Jeremiah, Todd McShay & other experts

Here’s everything you need to know about the decision, and Edelman’s future in the NFL.

Why did the Patriots cut Julian Edelman?

The initial reason for Edelman’s tenure ending in New England was a failed physical. That makes sense on the surface, considering that the 34-year-old receiver played in the fewest games in a given season since he entered the NFL in 2009. Considering how busy New England coach/GM Bill Belichick was in free agency, it also stands to reason that Edelman would have seen fewer targets in 2021 after the Patriots added receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, and tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.

However, that was only part of the Patriots’ decision. Per Mike Weiss of ESPN, the decision could simply be a formality and precursor to Edelman retiring from football.

Edelman later confirmed rumors that he was, indeed, retiring. Edelman, in a pre-recorded video, announced his decision.

Why is Edelman retiring from the NFL?

In the video, Edelman credited an undisclosed knee injury from the 2020 season as the reason for his retirement. He underwent surgery on Oct. 29 and did not return for the remainder of New England’s 7-9 season.

“Nothing in my career has ever come easy. And, no surprise, this isn’t going to be easy, either,” Edelman said in his announcement. “I always said, ‘I’m gonna go until the wheels come off.’ And they finally have fallen off. Due to an injury last year, I’ll be making my official announcement of retirement from football. It was a hard decision, but the right decision for me and my family. And I’m honored, and so proud, to be retiring a Patriot.

That last line also puts an end to any rumors that Edelman will attempt a comeback somewhere else in the NFL — notably, in Tampa Bay with former teammates Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.

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Dustin Poirier says Conor McGregor never donated promised $500K to former’s charity



Dustin Poirier says Conor McGregor never donated promised $500K to former's charity

Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor are confirmed to be fighting again … on Twitter.

The latest clash between the two UFC fighters stems from a Poirier claim Sunday night that McGregor and his team failed to deliver on a promised $500,000 donation. It would have gone to Poirier’s charity, “The Good Fight,” after their UFC 257 bout in January, which Poirier won via second-round TKO.

McGregor responded in kind, saying that Poirier never said exactly where the money was going and how it would be used.

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All this stemmed from a 2020 exchange between the two fighters where McGregor teased a comeback outside of UFC. He proposed a PPV with Poirier, saying all the money would go to charity. He eventually settled on the $500,000 amount, which would be donated after their January bout. Poirier confirmed in December 2020 that McGregor’s team had begun the process of donating to his foundation.

Poirier and McGregor’s online squabble further devolved from there, with Poirier claiming that McGregor’s team quit responding to emails and McGregor calling Poirier a “brain dead hillbilly” — before canceling their trilogy fight.

Both fighters have reportedly signed contracts to a trilogy fight on July 10 at UFC 264, though that promotion hasn’t been made official. What’s also uncertain is whether McGregor’s claim that the fight is off is him simply letting off steam or retaliation against Poirier.

Just another day in the UFC.

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