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Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu not resting on his laurels

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TAMPA — DJ LeMahieu led the majors in batting average last season and is coming off a pair of the best offensive years in the sport.

The Yankees star hasn’t reflected much on that, however.

“Just because last year was good doesn’t mean anything,’’ LeMahieu said Saturday. “It’s a big confidence thing, coming off last year, but at the same time, I’m not taking anything for granted.”

That’s why he spent this past offseason with one thing in mind: “Chasing perfection with my swing.”

His pursuit has paid off well enough that re-signing LeMahieu was Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s top priority this winter.

After a lengthy negotiation, LeMahieu got a six-year, $90 million deal and the Yankees went on with the rest of their offseason plans, deepening the starting rotation, bullpen and outfield.

DJ LeMahieu
DJ LeMahieu
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Not surprisingly, LeMahieu’s mindset is the same following the payday

“Not a whole lot of changes,’’ LeMahieu said. “Just getting back after it. … I had two of my most fun years in ’19 and ’20. To have the opportunity to do that for six more years is exciting.”


Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are curious to see what the redesigned baseballs being used by MLB are like, but hitting coach Marcus Thames isn’t as concerned about the issue.

Asked if the offense would change its “philosophy” because there is some thought the balls might not travel as far as the ones used in recent seasons, Thames made it clear it would not.

“No, we’re not changing our philosophy,’’ Thames said. “We’re gonna control the strike zone and try to kick up some dust when the ball is in our damage zone.”

The new balls, according to a source, will be used throughout the spring and aren’t expected to perform any differently.

While Cole and Taillon have said they weren’t even sure which balls they had been throwing this spring, Thames said the team had some Friday.

“I didn’t really tell the difference,’’ Thames said. “We’ve got some pretty powerful guys. I don’t want our guys thinking about the baseball — other than hitting it.”

As for whether other teams or players alter their approaches, Thames laughed and said, “We’ll talk about this in November and we’ll see.”


Aaron Judge altered his workout program this offseason in an attempt to avoid injuries and become more “dynamic.”

Thames said Judge’s “swing looks good. We just want him to stay healthy and hope that protects everything.”


Right-hander Mike King is slated to start Sunday against Toronto, followed by Asher Wojciechowski, Lucas Luetge and Kyle Barraclough, as well as Nick Goody and Adam Warren, who both returned to the Yankees this offseason.

Aaron Boone said while there have been few physical issues in camp, Nestor Cortes Jr. is dealing with “an ankle issue,’’ but shouldn’t miss any time.

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Bulls’ Zach LaVine called cops on ‘obsessed’ fan at his home

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Zach LaVine had an unwanted visitor.

The Chicago Bulls star had to call the police after an “allegedly obsessed” woman showed up to his Chicago home and refused to leave on Thursday night, according to TMZ. 

The woman reportedly traveled from out of state, demanding to speak with the first-time All-Star, who was home at the time.

Police took her a local hospital for mental evaluation, and she has not been formally arrested or charged with a crime.

LaVine, 25, wrapped up first-half action with the Bulls on Wednesday and was drafted to Kevin Durant’s All-Star side for Sunday’s festivities in Atlanta.

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Blake Griffin a free agent after Pistons buyout

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Blake Griffin will be free to sign with the Nets or another interested NBA team after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons.

The six-time All-Star forward “has interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders and is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams,” ESPN reported.

The Nets, Lakers, Heat, Warriors and Clippers – his former team — are among those that have expressed interest, according to the New York Times. ESPN.com added that the Blazers are interested

The 31-year-old Griffin hasn’t played since Feb. 12 while the Pistons attempted to trade him before the March 25 deadline, but they found no takers due to the remainder of his $36.6 million salary for this season and the $39 million he’s owed for 2021-22.

Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
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Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games this season. He was dealt by the Clippers to Detroit in 2018, during the first season of a five-year extension worth $171 million.



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Broncos send a pretty strong warning to Drew Lock

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Drew Lock is no lock to remain the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2021.

General manager George Paton and coach Vic Fangio both said Thursday that the team expects to bring in competition for Lock, possibly with the ninth pick in the NFL Draft.

“Obviously we’re always looking to bring in players at all positions that can raise the level of competition, and the quarterback is no different in that regard,” Fangio said, according to the team’s website.

“Until we get or until Drew proves to be the next great quarterback, like the ones that the Denver franchise has been used to in years past or certain teams around the league … are used to, we’re going to always try and bring in competition. But I have confidence that Drew can continue to improve.”

Lock made 13 starts in 2020 and tied with Carson Wentz for the league lead with 15 interceptions. He finished 32nd in the league among qualifying quarterbacks with a 75.4 passer rating, ahead of only Dwayne Haskins, Wentz and Sam Darnold.

Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
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“Very talented, was inconsistent at times, has a lot to work on,” Paton said Thursday. “But I’ve spoken with Drew, I see him every day. He’s here early. He’s working. He really wants to be great. And we’re always going to try to bring in competition at every position, and quarterback as well. But I like the track that Drew’s on.”

Lock, the Broncos’ second-round pick in 2019 out of Missouri, had started five games as a rookie, winning four of them. Denver went 4-9 with him as the starter last season.

“I’m confident that Drew’s going to continue to improve,” Fangio said. “Drew’s had a great offseason up to this point. There’s not a lot you can do, but he’s working hard on his own, coming over here and getting workouts, and I know he’s doing a lot at home by himself, watching video by himself. He’s got a good setup over there. And he’s doing anything and everything he can to improve, even in February and now in March.”

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