Best of FanRag Sports: May 21


Every morning we collect the most entertaining, intriguing and informative stories from around the FanRag Sports network and bring them to you all in one place. Here you can find the top NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAA and fight-sport stories of the day prior to get caught up on the news you need to know before starting your day.

Today’s edition features an NHL coach’s legacy, a new Los Angeles Angels cleanup hitter and a college basketball program’s fan base that needs to show a little patience this year.

Sit back, relax and take a look back at an exciting day in the world of sports. Here is the best of the best courtesy of FanRag Sports.


Today’s Slapshot

NHL: OCT 21 Red Wings at Canadiens

Maple Leafs Offer Mike Babcock Shot at GOAT Status

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed the biggest available free agent a month and a half before free agency actually opens. It’s not a player or general manager, but head coach Mike Babcock.

Babcock spent the past 10 years as the main man behind the bench for the Detroit Red Wings, making the playoffs every season and winning the Stanley Cup in 2008. The Maple Leafs are in the process of rebuilding and hope the man considered by many to be the best in the league can help expedite that process.

Slapshot’s Franklin Steele evaluates what the move to Toronto means for Babcock’s legacy. If he is able to turn the once-storied franchise around, Babcock could be considered the greatest coach of all time. If not, his legacy may be tarnished by the fact he only had success with a franchise on the rise before he arrived.


Today’s Fastbreak

NBA: DEC 30 Cavaliers at Hawks

The Timberwolves Won the Kevin Love Trade by a Landslide

When the Minnesota Timberwolves traded Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team deal, many thought the two main players came out fairly even. Less than a year later, it’s evident to Fastbreak’s Michael Wonsover that Minnesota won the trade by a landslide.

The Timberwolves are sitting pretty with Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, two players received in the trade, as well as the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. With Love on the roster, neither of those two players are in Minnesota and the top pick belongs to someone else.

That’s not to say Love is a bad player or he was not useful for the Cavaliers, but given his upcoming player option, Cleveland may have traded the future for a one-year rental.


Today’s Knuckleball

MLB: MAY 12 Rockies at Angels

It’s Time to Appreciate Kole Calhoun

Kole Calhoun is quickly making a name for himself in Los Angeles. On a team that includes multi-time All-Star Albert Pujols and the best player in the world Mike Trout, Calhoun has been selected to man cleanup duty in the heart of the Angels’ lineup.

Calhoun burst onto the national scene last season, hitting .272 with 90 runs scored, 34 extra-base hits, 17 home runs and 58 RBIs. This season he’s hitting .300 with four home runs and 19 RBIs.

Knuckleball’s David Roberts says Calhoun’s game is often overlooked around baseball and it’s time to appreciate the outfielder’s efforts. Read more about the former Arizona State Sun Devil and his journey from obscurity to MLB starter.


Today’s Pigskin

NFL: SEP 14 Bears at 49ers

Chicago Bears’ Secondary a Huge Weakness in 2015

The Chicago Bears have a lot of problems to address, major holes in the secondary being principal among them. While Chicago did bring in safety Antrel Rolle in the offseason, that move in and of itself is not enough to change the course of the Bears’ fortunes for the upcoming season.

In a division that includes wide receivers Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Mike Wallace and others, Chicago’s defensive woes are a major concern.

Chicago’s offense has a chance to be special with Matt Forte in the backfield and receivers Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White on the outside, but the other side of the ball will dictate whether or not the team can return to the postseason for the first time since 2010.

Pigskin’s Scott Poppen breaks down the secondary and which players need to step up in order for the Bears to have success in 2015.


Today’s U

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 14 Big Ten Tournament Ð Michigan State v Maryland

Maryland is Going to Need Time to Develop into Great Team

Maryland basketball is considered one of the best teams in the nation heading into next season, but it is going to take some time for the Terrapins to truly be great. Maryland returns Melo Trimble and Jake Layman while adding Rasheed Sulaimon, Diamond Stone and Robert Carter to the mix.

However, Dez Wells and Evan Smotrycz will no longer be running up and down the Xfinity Center court. As a result, Maryland will need to adjust its offensive game plan and spread the floor differently than they did last season.

U’s Bobby Reagan still believes the Terps will be a very good team next season, but he says fans should temper expectations a bit at first. Patience is a virtue.


Today’s Knockout

MMA: JAN 24 Affliction: Day of Reckoning

Vitor Belfort – Does Testosterone Make the Difference?

Overshadowed a bit by Daniel Cormier vs Rumble Johnson, the UFC Middleweight Championship match between Vitor Belfort and Chris Weidman could be even more intriguing than the aforementioned light heavyweight match.

Knockout’s Dane Curley breaks down the fight by evaluating the old school vs. new school feel the bout has. Belfort is 38-years-old and has been fighting in UFC in 1996, making his debut at UFC 12. Weidman is 30 and uses new-age techniques like facial acupuncture and green juice to prepare for a fight.

Find out more about Saturday’s fight and what role testosterone plays in it on Today’s Knockout.



MLB: APR 06 Indians at Astros

Corey Kluber Has Been Historically Great

After going 0-5 and his team losing all seven games he started to begin the 2015 season, Corey Kluber has been sensational as of late. His last two starts have not only been good, they’ve been historically great.

In 17 innings, the Cleveland Indians’ starter allowed only six hits and one earned run while racking up 30 strikeouts. Yes, 30 — 18 of which came in one game against the St. Louis Cardinals. After a brutal start to the season, the 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner appears back on track.

Jason Ferrie breaks down Kluber’s recent game scores and the chance at history he has when he takes the mound for his next start. Here is a nice little nugget from the article:

…there are 34 separate performances where a pitcher has at least an 84 Game Score in back-to-back games since 2000. Of those back-to-back performances, Kluber has the second most strikeouts with 30.

To Top