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Boom or bust. This is what baseball has become – and that has owners worried.

”It’s just kind of what it is: home runs and strikeouts http://www.officialislanders.com/authentic-adidas-adam-pelech-jersey ,” Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling said.

Stripling had just given up 10th-inning home runs on consecutive pitches to Houston’s Alex Bregman and George Springer on a night players combined for 10 longballs , nearly double the previous All-Star record.

Last fall, you may remember, the Dodgers and Astros totaled 25 home runs in the World Series , four more than had ever been hit before in a Fall Classic.

”It’s extremely tough to manufacture hits these days, especially with the shift,” Stripling said after the American League’s 8-6 win Tuesday night. ”I certainly understand that’s where the game’s going, and so I think this game encapsulated that.”

It took until the 344th pitch for a run to be driven in on something other than a homer, Michael Brantley’s tack-on sacrifice fly that boosted the AL’s lead to 8-5. Joey Votto added the final home run in the bottom half, four more than the previous All-Star mark.

”Everybody’s throwing 97 to 100,” Washington ace Max Scherzer, the NL starter, said in a reference to pitch velocity. ”You’re not going to string three hits together like that. So everybody’s just swinging for the fence.”

Hours earlier, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was expressing alarm. Strikeouts (24,537) are on track to surpass hits (24,314) for the first time and are likely to set a record for the 12th straight season. This year’s average of 17.0 per game is up from 12.6 in 2005. The current big league batting average of .247 would be the lowest since 1972.

And the average of 2.28 homers per game is just below the record 2.51 set last year.

”Standard operation nowadays, right? We’re going to homer-and-punch-out as an industry,” said Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who led the AL to victory. There’s a great love affair with both results.”

Among 90 plate appearances Dontari Poe Jersey , 44 ended in a home run, strikeout (25) or walk (nine), at 48.9 percent the highest in All-Star history, according to STATS.

”I don’t really want to see guys shorten up and slap the ball around the infield just to avoid a strikeout. That doesn’t excite me,” Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon, who won the NL batting title last year while hitting 37 home runs. ”I don’t mind strikeouts. That doesn’t mean I want guys swinging way out of the zone, but it doesn’t bother me.”

Many cite shifts as the cause of the, well, big shift in offense, transforming groundballs that once were hits into outs. There have been 20,587 shifts on balls in play, according to Baseball Info Solutions. That projects to a full-season total of 34,668 – up 29.8 percent from last year and an increase from 6,882 for the entire 2013 season.

”There is a growing consensus or maybe even better an existing consensus among ownership that we need to have a really serious conversation about making some changes to the way the game is being played,” Manfred said. ”We are not at the point where I can articulate for you what particular rule changes might get serious consideration. I can tell you the issues that concern people: I think that the period of time between putting balls in play, the number of strikeouts, to a lesser extent the number of home runs, the significance of the shift and what it’s done to the game, the use of relief pitchers and the way starting pitchers are going to be used.”

When it comes to change Juuse Saros Jersey , players are Luddites. Union head Tony Clark maintained his members are ”stewards of the game” and are resistant to tinkering with the rules for fear of unintended consequences.

”We may get to a point where those coming to the ballpark or have an interest in coming to the ballpark for whatever reason aren’t 100 percent certain that what they are seeing is the type of game that they want to see,” Clark said.

Home runs bring the crowd to its feet, especially by the home team. Think back to the 1998 Nike advertisement with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, titled ”Chicks Dig the Long Ball.” The Yankees’ Aaron Judge started the barrage with a second-inning solo shot off Scherzer.

”I know the fans enjoy seeing these homers,” Judge said.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) The NFL Players Association’s political action committee has begun dolling out donations for the midterm elections – including offering $5,000 each to two ex-players running for Congress from both parties.

The group known as NFLPA One Team PAC gave $5,000 to former Cowboys linebacker Colin Allred, a Democrat facing Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions in Dallas.

It did the same for Anthony Gonzalez, an ex-Indianapolis Colts receiver and Republican running for a seat being vacated by Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Renacci.

The group gave $27,700 total in six House and Senate races. Four Republicans got $17,700 and two Democrats received $10,000.

Republican Rep. Will Hurd of Texas also got $5,000, as did House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received $2,700.

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Texans coach Bill O’Brien said recently that he feels like the team is in a “good place” heading into training camp after going 4-12 last season and installing Brian Gaine as the team’s new General Manager.

Gaine agrees that the Texans have “positioned ourselves well” and now need to “see some results” from the work they’ve put into the team. He doesn’t feel the job is done Juuse Saros Jersey , however.

Gaine has been on the job since January, which meant the team’s been moving at a “rapid pace” to restock the roster heading into the season. Changes to the organization go beyond new players, however. O’Brien and Gaine asked for improvements to the team’s practice facility, locker rooms and staffing as they work to shape the organization into the one they want.

“It’s not just trying to build a roster,” Gaine said, via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “We’re trying to build a football culture that’ll withstand the test of time and not just be on a year-to-year basis.”

Such changes will likely take more than one offseason to fully take hold, but the work already done and the return of several injured stars may be enough to bear some fruit immediately as well.

Ricky Rubio waited seven years for a night like this.

Rubio, who never reached the playoffs in his first six seasons with Minnesota, had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Utah’s first playoff triple-double in 17 years to help lead the Jazz to a 115-102 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.

”We were down by 10 … and I just changed my mentality Miles Wood Jersey , trying to be more aggressive and make some shots,” Rubio said. ”We made a run and it helps a lot when you’re making shots and it felt great.”

At one point, Rubio walked toward half-court with his arms outstretched, drinking in the deafening roar and subsequent ”RU-BI-O! RU-BI-O!” chants from the fans.

Donovan Mitchell added 22 points for Utah, which took a 2-1 lead in its first-round series with Oklahoma City.

Rubio has never been known as a knockdown shooter, but his recent accuracy has opened new opportunities for his playmaking.

”Ricky attacked,” Utah coach Quin Snyder. ”He attacked, but with poise and he was making some shots. I thought he took good shots and it really stabilized our group.”

The Spaniard has previously recorded five triple-doubles in his career and has played in big EuroLeague and Olympic games, but different than the energy and pressure of the NBA playoffs.

”He was on, in so many ways Authentic Derek Forbort Jersey Kids ,” Mitchell said.

Joe Ingles, who had 21 points, made two 3-pointers around two free throws to spark a 13-0 surge that ended on Mitchell’s 3 to put Utah up by 20 points in the fourth quarter. The big run was just par for the course in a series characterized by large runs by one team, then countered by the other.

Rubio’s triple-double was the first by a Jazz player in the postseason since John Stockton in the 2001 playoffs against Dallas.

”Having my name next to his name is an honor,” Rubio said of joining the Hall of Famer in making franchise history. ”I have huge respect for him.”

Paul George scored 23 points and Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Raymond Felton each had 14 for the Thunder. Westbrook also had 11 rebounds and nine assists, just missing his ninth playoff triple-double but also had eight turnovers and shot 5 for 17.

Rudy Gobert’s dunk and pair of free throws capped a 9-0 run in the third quarter to give Utah an 84-70 lead. Minutes later, Rubio hit a running 28-foot 3-pointer to make it 89-75 entering the final period.

The Jazz changed coverages on Westbrook throughout the game and surprised the perennial All-Star with different players in his expected passing lanes.

Utah also outrebounded the Thunder 48-33 and seemed much quicker to the loose balls in the midst of a charged atmosphere. The Jazz’s hustle plays energized the packed arena festooned in the colors of Southern Utah – red, orange and yellow.

With Utah trailing 47-43, Rubio scored 10 consecutive Jazz points and his 3-pointer and subsequent three free throws gave Utah a 53-49 lead.

Rubio P.K Subban Jersey , playing just his third playoff game in his seven-year NBA career, had 19 at the half and the Jazz led 58-53.

The Thunder, shot 16 for 24 on field goals and 7 for 11 on 3s, to lead 45-33 on Westbrook’s layup with 7:26 left in the second quarter.

Asked if the Rubio might have an encore in Game 4, Westbrook defiantly declared that he would shut down any chance of that happening.

”Guarantee that!” Westbrook said.

TIP-INS

Thunder: Oklahoma City was outscored 30-14 after Adams sat down with his third foul early in the second quarter. … Both Adams and Mitchell picked up their fourth fouls in the first half of the third quarter. … Adams finished with two rebounds. … The Thunder shot 14 for 28 from 3-point range.

Jazz: Utah started the game by converting nine of its first 10 shots, then missed eight of the next nine. … Royce O’Neale and George each got technicals for some pushing and words early in the fourth quarter. … Carlos Boozer had the last triple-double for the Jazz in 2008, but it came in the regular season. … Utah had 19 second-chance points to the Thunder’s eight.

INGLES REAPPEARS

Ingles, who was a primary cog in Utah’s offense as the Jazz got better and better throughout the season, was nearly invisible in the first two games against the defense of George. After only 16 total points and three assists in Oklahoma City, Ingles provided the offensive firepower down the stretch. ”I thought Joe just had a more aggressive mindset tonight Authentic Kyle Quincey Jersey Kids ,” Snyder said. ”Joe just threw himself into the defensive end as well. When you do that, your offense kind of comes more naturally.”

WESTBROOK OUT OF SORTS?

Westbrook didn’t take a shot in the fourth quarter, but said he doesn’t have any specific physical injury. Some of his eight turnovers happened when he was headed to the rim with Gobert looming. ”I’m getting in trouble jumping in the air and getting caught,” he said. Perhaps Gobert’s defensive presence is making one of the game’s most instinctive players think twice. ”I just try to make them think. Everyone in the league knows that I protect the rim. I know that they know,” Gobert said.

FRIENDS

Rubio arrived at the arena Saturday wearing a sweatshirt with the `Friends’ sitcom logo. A team that emphasizes ”connectivity”, the Jazz moved in concert on offense and passes – even long skip passes – arrived in shooters’ sweet spots ready for launch. In the postgame press conference, Rubio joked that he knew he was close to a triple-double, but Ingles missed a layup on purpose to t Houston Texans Jerseys

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