All I Want for Christmas…


first_imgAll right all you good little boys and girls, let’s think about what we want Santa put under the tree this year.How about a wool PISGAH jersey made by local Pisgah Works? It’s a full zip, with a silver pull ornately designed as a dragon. It has a hood, complete with tiny visor so that it can be worn under the helmet. The visor keeps your face from being leaked on by the annoying drip through the slits in the helmet. The extra-long sleeves have thumb-holes, which are perfect for those days you don’t want a gap between your glove and sleeves. It’s even perfect on the days you almost needed gloves. Of course it has snug rear pockets. The best part is how frigging cool you look, and everybody tells you so.You just can’t get enough base layers, either. That includes socks, which have become nearly as important as shorts. DeFeet, which is a local company, has always kept my toes comfy whether they’re wet in the summer or the winter. Everybody needs a thin, long-sleeve thermal layer with a neckline that doesn’t choke or bind and tucks down low into the shorts. As for tights, it’s that time of year that if you don’t have fleece tights, you probably won’t ride.Since buying whimsical, yet highly functional gear can be a little costly, a great stocking stuffer would be a cool riding shirt from Club Ride. Not only do you look like a sexy cowboy, but the material does not hold stink. You can finish an epic Sunday in it and still wear it to work the next morning. Not only is the line American made by some hot dude in Idaho, but he buys tricot material from a local company who also serves Patagonia.Who wants to struggle anymore with a hand pump. What we need is a sturdy floor pump with a gauge. It works well for cars and motorcycle tires too.It’s pretty much guaranteed that riders are going to go through some tubes, so might as well fill the stocking with a few to stash in the backpack. Other safety necessities might be a small first aid kit (with painkillers and a suture kit). Even a whistle is a good idea, as well as a fistful of Cliff Cubes, which are yummy gummies filled with the necessities for trail-burned legs on a long ride.Speaking of packs, Camelbak is no longer the only choice for hydration. Osprey has busted out with a system that craves details. The bladder has a long handle and screw top that never suctions on too tightly, requiring a Hulk grip to open it. It has a firm back that allows the bladder to slide easily into the pack, providing a smooth surface on the rider’s back. It has small, waterproof, zipped compartments that can be washed out. Never does the tube down to the valve flop around tapping your knee in that irritating fashion. The chest strap has a super magnet that holds the valve in place, just inches from your thirsty lips. Plus, they’ve got a cool purple one that funds breast cancer research.The only other thing I can think of beyond a Go-Pro video camera is a small private fridge in the garage filled with beer.last_img read more

Life after silicon


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Dodgers’ magic number stuck at four after loss to Giants


first_imgAlready without shortstop and cleanup hitter Hanley Ramirez (back) and center fielder Andre Ethier (ankle), Mattingly sent fresh-from-Albuquerque rookie Nick Buss to start in right field, planted Skip Schumaker as the No. 5 hitter and playing center and had Jerry Hairston Jr. go out to left field, since Carl Crawford was having back problems as well.Add to that .228 hitter Dee Gordon in the leadoff spot and playing shortstop, and Edinson Volquez given another chance to make a start on the mound with his ERA just shy of six.A bases-loaded-clearing double by Adrian Gonzalez off Giants starter Ryan Voglesong in the fifth inning gave the Dodgers a 3-1 advantage for Volquez, who had struck out six to that point and gave up a solo homer to Pence to start the second inning prior to that.In the sixth, Volquez gave up a two-out single to Brandon Belt, and having hit the 85-pitch mark, drew pitching coach Rick Honeycutt to the mound.Three pitches later, Pence took Volquez deep again into the Dodgers bullpen, and the Dodger pitcher’s day was over with the scored tied at 3-3.“Everything felt fine, I just didn’t execute,” said Volquez, who struck out seven and got nine groundouts. “I’ve faced (Pence) a lot in the past, and he’s just hot right now. Just made two change-ups that he hit.”Mattingly said of Pence: “That’s one guy you really don’t want to be leaving the ball up to at all. Volquez didn’t execute a couple of pitches and he made us pay.”Rodriguez, the fourth Dodgers pitcher and one who pitched scoreless relief in 39 of his previous 43 appearances since early June, went full count to Pill before his go-ahead home run was deposited into the left-field corner for the one-run San Francisco lead.Buss, who had his first major-league hit in his debut on Saturday night, looped a single to right to start the bottom of the ninth against Giants closer Sergio Romo. Nick Punto sacrificed him to second, and Buss was held up at third base after a sharp single to right by Gordon, who reached base in his last three at-bats.Gordon’s steal of second on a 1-1 count to Mark Ellis opened first base, but Romo went after Ellis and struck him out.Walking Gonzalez intentionally for the second at-bat in a row brought up reliever Ronald Belisario’s spot – and another spotlight moment for Puig to the roar of the 47,302.One pitch later, it was over. Fielding a lineup that looked more like an optical illusion than a pennant contender, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly ended up sending supposedly too-injured Yasiel Puig as his make-or-break pinch hitter with two out in the bottom of the ninth and the bases loaded.Instead of another walk-off victory that would have shrunk the magic number to three heading into a four-game series against runner-up Arizona, Puig smacked the first pitch to Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, who flipped to second baseman Joaquin Arias to end the game and series.Puig, whose sliding catch in center field during an otherwise forgetful 16-run loss Saturday night apparently inflamed the hip enough to have himself removed, conveyed to Mattingly on Sunday morning he’d be OK to pinch hit, just not serviceable for outfield play.That was hardly the way Mattingly framed the injury to the media about 2½ hours before the game, going so far as to say Puig could be out up to two weeks, while adding that he was joking.“I was ready just like every other player,” the 22-year-old from Cuba said through an interpreter of his pinch-hitting appearance afterward. “They came to me to hit and I was ready for it. Sadly it didn’t turn out like I wanted it to, but I was prepared just like the other guys.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Stuck on four. No less, no more.The Dodgers failed to move the needle any closer to clinching the National League West for the second day in a row, but at least the stalled pursuit led to more international intrigue during a 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.An eighth-inning pinch-hit homer by Brett Pill off Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez, in addition to two more home runs by Hunter Pence, was just enough for the Giants to secure three of the four games and prevent the Dodgers from doing any sort of celebration during their extended stay in L.A.Not even Arizona’s win over Colorado in Phoenix did the Dodgers any favors.last_img read more

Week 13 Fantasy RB Rankings: Derrick Henry bullies his way into top five


first_imgThe best fantasy football owners can do sometimes is react. Heading into Week 13, we’re able to assess guys like Rashaad Penny, Bo Scarbrough and Benny Snell Jr. with some accuracy. Sure, it would’ve been nice to know last week that Penny and Snell should be in all our lineups, but it’s never that simple. There was a case to be made for Scarbrough — he already placed near RB2 territory a week ago. But you’ve surely opened the Week 13 fantasy RB rankings to see if what happened last week can happen again.With Snell, the answer is contingent on the health of James Conner (shoulder). There’s no reason Snell can’t put up solid numbers on heavy volume against the Browns in Week 13 if he gets to be the lead back. If Conner returns, Snell will be relegated to the sideline and not have a chance at big numbers — so, essentially, we can’t really know much about Snell until late in the week. Penny seems more likely to continue his production, although he’s still got to compete with Chris Carson. Penny’s usage Sunday wasn’t injury-related, though, and Chris Carson has pushed himself toward the doghouse because of fumbles multiple times. Penny’s a former first-rounder and probably someone you can trust as a FLEX. Reminder: These rankings will be adjusted throughout week, so check back often for the latest updates and analysis!MORE WEEK 13 DFS: Stacks | Values | Lineup BuilderWeek 13 Fantasy RB RankingsThese rankings are for standard, non-PPR leagues.RankPlayer1Christian McCaffrey, CAR vs. WAS2Saquon Barkley, NYG vs. GB3Dalvin Cook, MIN @ SEA4Josh Jacobs, OAK @ KC. Kansas City allows the most fantasy points to running backs, so Jacobs might be looking at a huge Week 13. 5Derrick Henry, TEN @ IND. Assuming Henry didn’t reverse script and use up all his good weeks already, we’re entering the time of year when he became a leaguer winner a year ago.6Le’Veon Bell, NYJ @ CIN7Alvin Kamara, NO @ ATL. Kamara hasn’t been as effective on the ground as we’ve come to expect, but nine catches saved his fantasy day Sunday and a similar output could be coming his way Thursday night against a Falcons team that can be seriously thrown on.8Nick Chubb, CLE @ PIT9Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. BUF. Commentators really like saying that Zeke likes to eat, so what better day for him to totally get back on the right track than Thanksgiving?10Aaron Jones, GB @ NYG11Melvin Gordon, LAC @ DEN12Todd Gurley, LAR @ ARZ13Phillip Lindsay, DEN vs. LAC14David Montgomery, CHI @ DET. Detroit’s biggest weakness is defending against solid running backs, so Montgomery should have one more great game before he approaches the rookie wall. 15Miles Sanders, PHI @ MIA.16Joe Mixon, CIN vs. NYJ17Devin Singletary, BUF @ DAL18Leonard Fournette, JAX vs. TB. Tampa has allowed the second-fewest rushing yards, but Fournette is too good to really consider sitting, especially when you add in his increased role in the passing game this season.19Chris Carson, SEA vs. MIN20Jonathan Williams, IND vs. TEN. Williams saw nearly 30 touches a week ago, and with Marlon Mack (hand) out, you pretty much have to ride the hot hand here.21Benny Snell Jr., PIT vs. CLE. We’ve removed James Conner from the rankings and moved Snell to this spot to adjust accordingly for what should be a heavy early-down workload.22Derrius Guice, WAS @ CAR. Guice saw an increase from seven to 10 carries in his second game back from injury, while Adrian Peterson also rushed 10 times and matched Guice’s one catch. Guice is probably the more talented back at this point, but it’s not a super encouraging situation for fantasy upside. This matchup is, however, so Guice should have a solid day.23Tevin Coleman, SF @ BAL24Devonta Freeman, ATL vs. NO. Check to be sure Freeman is active Thursday night.25Bo Scarbrough, DET vs. CHI. The Bears’ run defense is deceiving at this point. It’s right about league average in fantasy points allowed to running backs. Scarbrough should see 15-plus carries again on Thanksgiving, so you can feel decent about starting him.26Ronald Jones, TB @ JAX27Kenyan Drake, ARZ vs. LAR28Austin Ekeler, LAC @ DEN29Darrel Williams, KC vs. OAK30Kareem Hunt, CLE @ PIT. Hunt’s overall offensive involvement has made him useful in standard leagues, although not to the extent that he’s extra reliable in PPR formats.31Carlos Hyde, HOU vs. NE. The Pats have allowed the fewest fantasy points to RBs this season. The Texans’ offense might move the ball decent with Deshaun Watson at the controls, but that doesn’t mean you can count on a ton of production from Hyde.32James White, NE @ HOU33Sony Michel, NE @ HOU34Mark Ingram, BAL vs. SF. San Francisco has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs in 2019. Baltimore’s best option in this game will be to rely heavily on Lamar Jackson, which means Ingram’s upside is severely limited. 35Jamaal Williams, GB @ NYG36Rashaad Penny, SEA vs. MIN. Penny’s huge game in Week 12 will have us keeping our eyes on comments out of Seattle all week. This is a former first-rounder who could be extra valuable in fantasy if he were to leapfrog Chris Carson on the depth chart.37LeSean McCoy, KC vs. OAK38David Johnson, ARZ vs. LAR39Adrian Peterson, WAS @ CAR40Tarik Cohen, CHI @ DET41Latavius Murray, NO @ ATL42Raheem Mostert, SF @ BAL43Kalen Ballage, MIA vs. PHI. When eight touches for 26 yards is an improvement, that’s when it whacks you over the head again that it might be time to find a different running back. 44Jaylen Samuels, PIT vs. CLE45Peyton Barber, TB @ JAX46Royce Freeman, DEN vs. LAC47Duke Johnson Jr., HOU vs. NE48Jay Ajayi, PHI @ MIA. Ajayi received six carries in Week 12 and could be a speculative play this week if Jordan Howard remains out, but you’d be betting on Ajayi finding the end zone to make his fantasy start worthwhile.49Brian Hill, ATL vs. NO. Hill would rise back up to around 40 if Devonta Freeman is out Thursday night.50Nyheim Hines, IND vs. TEN. Hines saw a season-high nine carries with Marlon Mack (hand) out in Week 12, so you can probably pencil Hines in for low double-digit touches.51Frank Gore, BUF @ DAL52Dare Ogunbowale, TB @ JAX53Bilal Powell, NYJ @ CIN54Alexander Mattison, MIN @ SEA55Gus Edwards, BAL vs. SF56J.D. McKissic, DET vs. CHI57Malcolm Brown, LAR @ ARZ58Giovani Bernard, CIN vs. NYJ59Rex Burkhead, NE @ HOU60Tony Pollard, DAL vs. BUF61Dion Lewis, TEN @ IND62Ty Johnson, DET vs. CHI63Wayne Gallman, NYG vs. GB WEEK 13 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerScarbrough might be the easiest to trust in terms of continuing his workload going forward, but his Week 13 Thanksgiving matchup against the Bears is the trickiest to want to play him in. Two weeks of dominating the Lions’ carries suggest that the former Alabama back has made the starter’s job his, so he should definitely be rostered, but starting him this week might be just as risky as the others.WEEK 13 DFS LINEUPS:FD Cash | FD GPP | DK Cash | DK GPP | Y! Cash | Y! GPPOther than those waiver wire targets, it’s another week of anticipating good and bad matchups. David Montgomery (@ Lions) and Jordan Howard (@ Dolphins) have two of the best. Carlos Hyde (vs. Patriots) and Mark Ingram (vs. 49ers) have two of the worst. In the middle, you have a guy like Jonathan Williams, who saw nearly 30 touches on Week 12 Thursday Night Football but had really never been heard from much in his career. We’d take the relatively unproven Williams with seemingly lots of volume over two veterans in tough situations like Hyde and Ingram.WEEK 13 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endAnd at last, with no bye weeks, you may actually be able to sit guys like Hyde and Ingram in matchups that you had no choice but to play them in before. Don’t forget, too, to check your lineup before 12:30 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving to make your early decisions.MORE WEEK 13:Waiver pickups | FAAB budget | Snap counts | Stock watch | Fantasy playoff SOSlast_img read more