More K’s than hits in June; second time in 3 months that deviation has occurred

Strikeouts exceeded hits in the major leagues for the second time in three months, a deviation that had never occurred before this year.

There were 6,776 strikeouts and 6,640 hits in June, the Elias Sports Bureau said Sunday. That leaves the season totals at 21,090 strikeouts and 20,671 hits about halfway through the season.

The average climbed from 1.90 before the 2015 All-Star break to 2.17 in the second half that year, then rose to 2.31 in 2016 and a record 2.51 last season.

Thus far, 32 percent of 94,241 plate appearances ended without a batted ball in play: 21,090 strikeouts, 8,081 walks, 952 hit batters and 23 catcher’s interference calls.

Houston nearly reached the NBA Finals last season, losing in seven games to the Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

The Rockets are desperately trying to lure LeBron James to Houston this offseason with the four-time MVP potentially joining reigning MVP James Harden.

D’Antoni’s fast-paced offensive philosophy worked best with the Suns from 2003-200He also coached the Knicks and Lakers, but found success hard to come by at both of those stops.

With the Rockets, D’Antoni finally has the pieces to run the system he’s most comfortable with, and the possible addition of James would make Houston favorites to win the title.

He missed the final two games of Colorado’s first-round series loss to the Predators after suffering a lower-body injury in Game 4.

Bernier was the odd man out, however, after the Avalanche acquired Philipp Grubauer from the Capitals.

Bernier, a 2006 first-round pick by the Los Angeles Kings, has also played for the Maple Leafs and Ducks in a 10-year career.

Phillies, Orioles, Blue Jays, Twins, Indians. Given Miguel Sano’s uncertain future in Minnesota, re-signing Escobar might be a priority. The Jays could use Escobar at shortstop, unless they think Bo Bichette can remain there. But here’s an idea: The Indians move Jose Ramirez to second base and go with Escobar at third adding another switch-hitter to go with Ramirez and Francisco Lindor.

Keuchel has been fine with a 4.15 ERA, but given his fastball velocity and some minor injury issues in the past, he hasn’t pitched well enough to receive a $100 million mega-deal.

Jared Goff: McVay pushing Rams even further in 2018

Sean McVay captured NFL Coach of the Year honors while leading one of the most dramatic franchise renaissances in NFL history, wrestling control of the NFC West away from Seattle in his debut season with the Rams.

What does the league’s latest offensive mastermind have in store for an encore?

Left unsatisfied with his team’s playoff loss to the Falcons, McVay is determined to push a star-studded roster to new heights in 2018.

The Rams took that concept to new heights last season, rushing Goff to the line of scrimmage with enough time for McVay to survey the defensive alignment and provide his quarterback with an audible before the headset shuts off with 15 seconds remaining on the play clock.

To be clear, it’s not the methodology that is revolutionary. Play-callers have been whispering in their quarterback’s ears ever since the prototype radio receiver installed in former Browns quarterback George Ratterman’s helmet went haywire in 1956, picking up outside interference from a local taxi company fielding cab calls.

Of the 28 running backs who recorded more than 125 carries for gains last year, Alex Collins ranked second in yards per carry for positive rush attempts (6.2), trailing only Los Angeles’ Todd Gurley. When the Ravens blocked well for him, Collins was clearly one of the NFL’s most explosive ball-carriers.

Unfortunately, his contributions as a pass-catcher didn’t match up.

Javorius Buck Allen had twice the number of catches as Collins last year, even though the latter racked up 59 more carries. Danny Woodhead, who carried the ball only 14 times and missed half of the season, caught 10 more balls than Collins, who carried the ball 212 times.

At the moment, Baltimore strongly declares run or pass depending on which running back is in the game. If Collins can improve as a pass-catcher, that will go a long way toward improving the Ravens’ unpredictability.

Gardner and manager Aaron Boone each said they hoped Gardner would be back Wednesday.

Until Gardner’s return, the 23-year-old Frazier will continue to get looks. So far, he’s made the most of them.

Going in to Tuesday’s game, Frazier had three hits in eight at-bats (.375 BA) including a double and an RBI in four games in the majors. Monday’s call-up was his third of the season.

Working every single day on getting better and I think he’s done a really good job of that. He’s gone back down each time and played really well and produced and all the reports are what you want to hear. So it’s not a player going down there and frustrating and sulking and that kind of stuff. That gets me excited. And even (Monday) night, when he pinch hits, he goes up there on the hunt and takes a good rip on the first pitch on a good pitch to hit. A lot of times you’ll see a guy go up there and take a pitch. No, he’s on the attack, boom, fouls a pitch back… excited to see him get in there and expecting him to be one of the guys to produce now.

Only one game will be played at Prudential Center, which will be part of a pair of split-squad games to open the preseason schedule. The Devils will host the Rangers on Monday, Sept. 17, and they will also play a road game against the Montreal Canadiens that night.

The schedule also includes road games against the New York Islanders, Rangers and Winnipeg Jets.

Prior to the start of training camp and the preseason, Devils prospects will again take part in the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo. Devils prospects will play in three games against prospects from the Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins from Sept. 7-10 at HarborCenter in Buffalo.

I have no idea where all of this is coming from, Owens told me this week. I have nothing to do with Julio except training. This is the media trying [to] create something that’s not even there. It’s very unfortunate. What possible reason would they have to create that narrative?

To be clear: Based on Ledbetter’s report, it’s not the media that’s creating this narrative; it’s the Falcons.

The truth is Jones wants more money because Jones wants more money.

Dak Prescott to bond with his receivers in a destination throwing session

The Cowboys admittedly don’t have a No. 1 receiver, and Dak Prescott has said he doesn’t believe they need one. But they do need chemistry.

The quarterback will work out with at least some of his receivers — several of them new — during the break before training camp.

The Cowboys gave Hardy another chance in 2015, but the headaches he caused off the field did not make him worth his declining production on it and his NFL career ended after that season.

Hardy began training in MMA and eventually landed at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla. The gym is one of the best camps in MMA and is home to a number of UFC fighters, including welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, interim welterweight champion Colby Covington and women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.

Sterling Shepard can finally look forward to Father’s Day.

I don’t think there is any question David is one of our core players and someone we look forward to having a long-term future with, Keim said, via the team’s website . [It’s] no different from in the past, when we’ve rewarded players like Pat Peterson, Chandler Jones, Larry Fitzgerald, Carson Palmer, just to name a few. There’s no doubt in my mind moving forward that we will keep a positive outlook and again, look forward to rewarding him just like we have players in the past.

With an August 7 deadline for Johnson to report to training camp in order to gain the accrued season he needs to become an unrestricted free agent in 2019, an extended holdout is an unlikely course of action whether a new deal is struck by camp or not.

O.V. we know is a dynamic guy, a guy that can rush from different angles, a guy that you can move around and put in different matchups, Bettcher said. He’s embraced everything we’ve done to this point.

Some of the other guys I think can give us some impact would be guys that have a chance to win one-on-one matchups, or are guys we can bring from different angles, and at times, if we have to, change who the fourth rusher is, at times maybe bring five or six, whatever we would need to do.

Damon has been vocal for his support of Trump going back to 2015, when Trump was running for the Republican primary.

Damon and Trump became friends when Damon started playing at the Trump International Golf Club West Palm in West Palm Beach, Fla., about a decade ago. Damon was also on Trump’s The Celebrity Apprentice TV show.

Retired Yankees outfielder Paul O’Neil has also backed Trump. Team president Randy Levine has known Trump for years and met with Trump, alongside MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, last year.

Brady accepted his four-game suspension in July 2016 and missed the first four games of that season. To put the drawn-out nature of his fight with the NFL in perspective, the league first announced the suspension in May 2015.

Webb believes this is the case. The Giants might be leaning that way, as well. But they cannot know — just as Webb cannot know. There is something about what is seen and done on the practice field and how it all translates into the real thing. Sometimes it does, often it does not.

Don’t know until you see it for real? There’s no arguing that, Webb told The Post recently. I’ve done as much as I could and as hard as I’ve worked to try to be ready, but we’ll never know until I actually play.

I’m feeling good, Dotson said, via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. . . . This is more of a precaution than anything, giving me time to get it back. I don’t have any issues about it. As a veteran move, take your time, get yourself feeling as good as you can go.

Dotson, 32, expects to start running in a few days. That means he should return in time for training camp.

I’m feeling good about it, he said. The coach is feeling good about it, the training room is feeling good about it. So I think we’re good.

He’s got his weight back to 305 on his way to the 310 he played last season after he got as low as 280.

Dotson finished last season on injured reserve with a torn posterior cruciate ligament, missing the final five games.

The Bucs picked up a one-year option on Dotson earlier this offseason, keeping him for another season. He has spent his entire career in Tampa, starting 76 games since arriving in 2009, including all 16 in both 2013 and 2014.

President Trump cancels Eagles’ visit to White House

Chris Long and Malcolm Jenkins were among the Eagles players who already said they wouldn’t visit the White House. Now, none of the Eagles will.

President Donald Trump issued a statement canceling the trip, citing the national anthem as the reason.

New England does have some free agency options for replacing Edelman, including former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, who was released two months ago and remains unsigned.

Unprecedented’: Why did ex-Eagles WR Terrell Owens turn down Hall of Fame invitation?

Even in retirement, T errell Owens is unpredictable.

Here at our facility, we take a natural, holistic, appropriate and, above all, legal approach to training and recovery for all of our clients. And anyone who would suggest otherwise is irresponsible, and just plain wrong, Guerrero said in a statement.

He had at least 90 receptions in three of his previous four seasons, and topped 1,000 yards receiving twice.

Edelman’s suspension would seem to open the door a crack for the rest of the teams in the AFC East.

The Jaguars have no concern about Ramsey returning in shape.

″One thing that you do not have to worry about is Jalen working,″ Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash said, via John Reid of the Florida Times-Union. ″He is an extremely prideful man. His drive once again is very similar to Yannick [Ngakoue] and Telvin [Smith]. He wants to be the best in the league, and he is going to do whatever it takes to get there.

″I am not worried about him coming back not being in shape. That is the last thing from our mind. We know with Jalen, how he prepares, when he comes back he is going to be ready to go.

Running back Leonard Fournette has missed the past few OTAs to take care of some personal things, according to Marrone.

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray selected ninth in MLB draft

Kyler Murray, the favorite to replace Baker Mayfield in Norman, was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the Major League Baseball Draft on Monday.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley told SoonerScoop.com last week he was unconcerned about about what happens in the draft because I fully expect him to be with us. But the slot value of the pick is $4.8 million, according to MLB.com, making it a high probability Murray will choose baseball over a future in football.

The Sooners list Murray at 5 foot 10, so baseball appears the better long-term fit anyway.

He’s a chill guy, but he’s a teamer. He’s for his team, Pro Bowl cornerback Xavier Rhodes told USA TODAY Sports. He’s got no problem sitting down and talking to everybody and anybody. And on the field, he plays us just like he did before he came here. He’s extremely accurate. Puts the ball where it needs to be. No receivers open, he’s running, diving into the end zone, jumping up celebrating. He makes every practice game-like.

Well, the format for this camp is similar to the last couple of years and we have a vet-select opportunity, McCarthy said. Sixteen veterans that have been excused from the camp and that’s really twofold: They deserve it, where they are particularly in their career, and as we all know, the second part is there’s only so many reps that you can accomplish throughout the offseason.

Besides Rodgers, the other 15 veterans who have the required experience (entering their sixth season or more) to skip the otherwise mandatory minicamp are receiver Randall Cobb, tight ends Jimmy Graham, Marcedes Lewis and Lance Kendricks, offensive linemen David Bakhtiari, Bryan Bulaga, Lane Taylor and Byron Bell, defensive linemen Mike Daniels and Muhammad Wilkerson, linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Davon House and kicker Mason Crosby.

McCarthy said he and his coaching staff work together to decide which veterans should be excused from minicamp each year.

Cowboys RBs coach says Ezekiel Elliott feels he didn’t accomplish anything in 2017

jets_061Ezekiel Elliott missed six games last season while serving a suspension after a lengthy court battle with the NFL. The Cowboys went 3-3 without him and missed the playoffs.

The star running back, who led the league in rushing with 1,631 yards and scored 16 total touchdowns as a rookie, rushed for 983 yards and nine total touchdowns last season.

He considers 2017 something of a lost season.

With what happened last year with the whole suspension and everything, I think he felt as though he didn’t accomplish anything, Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown said. But he did accomplish some things.

You have your typical zones that you see in the NFL or in American football: Cover 2, Cover 3, Cover 4 and some combination. You may get two to one side, four to the other side, two-man, man, things like that. But the way that the defensive coordinators here can create different schemes in different zones, it’s not the same as in American football. The windows aren’t the same. How you read different coverages is not the same.

He’s off to a good start making that happen and he’s earned a new label from Washington head coach Jay Gruden by playing well without saying much.

Trey has come in here, and I haven’t heard him talk a whole lot. He’s very quiet, Gruden said at a press conference last week. He’s a quiet assassin and he just goes out there and is very detailed in his routes. Ike [Hilliard] has done a great job with him, and Trey, when the ball’s in the area, he’s got strong hands. Very quarterback-friendly target. He can run the option routes. He’s learning from Jamison [Crowder], which is good, but he can also line up in different spots, so Trey is a guy that we’re going to rely on to be able to play multiple spots, be tough enough in the running game to block safeties from time to time. He’ll do whatever is asked of him, I know that, and maybe even return some punts. We’ll see, but I’ve been very impressed with Trey.

Crowder, Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson are expected to be the top three receivers in Washington this season, but Quinn, who had an FBS-best 114 catches at SMU last year, should be right behind them if his summer goes as well as the spring.