Chris Sale is bulking up

Chris Sale is bulking up

In the days leading up to spring training you will hear a lot of stories about bulky guys losing weight or trying to get more flexible and a lot of stories about skinny guys bulking up. Yesterday there was a story about Dan Uggla that filled the former slot. This is the latter: Sale gaining weight offseason.…

Orioles pitchers imitate bullpen coach in pregame prank

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Orioles pitchers imitate bullpen coach in pregame prank

BY ERIC GARLAND, CSNmidatlantic.com 

If the saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” is true, Orioles bullpen coach Dom Chiti must be feeling really honored. 

Before Wednesday's game against the Houston Astros, the Orioles bullpen went through their normal pregame routine. However, something was very different this time around. 

Each pitcher wore fake mustaches to imitate Chiti, who sports a thick gray mustache himself. 

The Orioles tweeted out proof of the prank, with two photos showing the pitchers posing in the clubhouse and warming up in the outfield while doing their best Chiti imitation. 

Were they able to pull off the look? You be the judge. 

Old man Tracy McGrady shakes cane at Bradley Beal for wanting max deal

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Old man Tracy McGrady shakes cane at Bradley Beal for wanting max deal

Tracy McGrady, 37, is proving that there's no minimum age for former players to complain about today's NBA.

Two weeks after McGrady lamented Stephen Curry's unanimous MVP Award as evidence of a "watered-down" league, he set his crotchety sights on Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal. 

The two-time scoring champion appeared on ESPN's The Jump on Tuesday and scoffed at Beal wanting a max contract this summer. Via Bullets Forever:

If he's a max player, then I'm coming back.

Ha. First of all, no you're not, Tracy. Everyone saw you in the All-Star Celebrity Game this year. 

Second, there are few people less qualified to shake their canes at Beal than T-Mac.

Yes, a five-year, $92 million extension seems like big money for a player who averaged 17.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists last season. But let's rewind to 2000 when McGrady signed his first max contract at age 21.

This from The Philadelphia Inquirer archives:

The Magic worked out sign-and-trade deals with the Pistons and Raptors, resulting in a nice extra chunk of cash for Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady.

Both players signed seven-year, maximum-salary deals worth $93 million with their old teams, then were traded to the Magic.

So what did T-Mac do to merit max money? Average 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game the season prior ... not exactly numbers that blow Beal out of the water. 

Also, Beal has started 21 playoff games so far in his career and put up 21.2 points per game in the postseason. McGrady, meanwhile, had recorded 16.2 points per game in only three playoff appearances before signing his max. (Don't you just love Basketball-Reference.com?)

So the two players will likely end up getting similar money for similar production in their first big NBA contracts, but Wizards fans should hope that's where the parallells end.

While McGrady made seven-straight All-Star appearances, his career was derailed by major injuries and postseason futility. T-Mac never advanced past the second round of the playoffs until signing with San Antonio at the start of their 2012 Finals run. 

Womp womp. 

Future Maryland guard gets Team USA training camp invite

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Future Maryland guard gets Team USA training camp invite

Future Maryland guard Kevin Huerter has been invited to attend the Team USA U18 training camp in Colorado Springs from June 14-18, the organization announced in a press release on Wednesday. 

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon is an assistant on the Team USA staff, along with Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie. Texas head coach Shaka Smart will be the team's head coach.

Huerter, a 6-5 guard from upstate New York, is rated as the 59th-best player in the class of 2016 by Rivals.com. He has signed his letter of intent to play at Maryland.

He figures to be part of the backcourt rotation in 2016-17 for Maryland that also includes Jaylen Brantley, Anthony Cowan, and Dion Wiley. Guard Melo Trimble has still yet to announce whether he will return to Maryland for his junior season. The deadline to withdraw and return to school is Wednesday.

Watch highlights of Huerter below.