Despite being injured, Phelps, who posted a 3.12 ERA and struck out 11 in 8 2/3 innings with Seattle last year, stayed with the team through the final home stand of 2017.
I only pitched in a handful of games (with Seattle), but I was able to be around the rest of the season, Phelps said. I stuck around until the last home stand just so I could get to know the guys and some of the younger pitchers, pick their brains on everything and teach them what I could. Biggest thing for me was knowing I was here, getting comfortable with the guys and building relationships.
One of Mitchell’s early dunks was an alley-oop off the side of the backboard while leaping over three kneeling short people (including comedian Kevin Hart). People have dunked baseline off the side of the backboard before — people have jumped over much taller people or things on alley-oops before. (Blake Griffin jumped over a car!)
Yet in the end, we’re left wanting.
There are few ambitious dunks that haven’t been discovered. Dennis Smith Jr., who did not advance to the final round despite having the best dunk of the night, hit a reverse 360 through-the-legs hand switch:
That’s new (for the Dunk Contest, at least). But because Dunk Contest scoring is weird and Smith missed this the first two times he tried, this jam becomes a relative afterthought. It was twice the dunk that Mitchell’s finale was.
He has a family, and you know what? He has to take care of himself, Gardenhire said. We’re going to make sure he’s healthy and this doesn’t take away from his life after baseball and all those things. But, this guy’s a gamer. This guy — he’s got a lot of passion to hit, and I’m hoping that I get to use him for another year or two, or whatever.
Martinez can’t be certain of how this season will go — or even how he’ll do in spring training. But he can certainly appreciate the chance to be back on the field.
When I came into the big leagues, I was 22, 23 years old. I used to see the veteran guys all in the hot tub. They were like, ‘Yeah, wait until you’re 30,’ Martinez said. Now I know what they were talking about. It just doesn’t get any easier. I’m just thankful to God give me this opportunity and be in this game for this long.
Some shooters love taking jumpers from straightaway looking directly as the basket. Dirk Nowitzki, for example, is famous for his trailing threes. It gives the shooter time to heat up and is early enough that he won’t rush any shots. On the downside, it’s further from the basket than the rest of the spots.