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Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard celebrated his 26th birthday in style, staging his first full-fledged live concert as his rapper persona Dame D. Lucas Biglia Argentina Jersey .O.L.L.A. in Portland, Oregon, on Friday.One of the many highlights of the concert at the Crystal Ballroom was having teammate C.J. McCollum and the New Orleans Pelicans Tim Frazier join him onstage for the song Soldier in the Game.On Saturday, Lillard retweeted numerous fans who attended the concert. He also hinted that footage of the show could be part of the return of License to Lillard, a series of YouTube videos he released during his rookie season that chronicled his journey to the NBA. Mariano Andujar Jersey . -- Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis was charged Thursday with driving while intoxicated, a day after he was suspended for an NFL substance-abuse policy violation. Sergio Romero Jersey . The Cincinnati Reds remain perfect with their speedy rookie outfielder in the starting lineup. http:///...Copa-America-Jersey/ . Jay Feely kicked a 41-yard field goal in overtime, and the Cardinals edged the Tennessee Titans 37-34 in overtime after blowing a 17-point lead late in the fourth quarter. Not two weeks after the Boston Red Sox played their final game of the 2015 season, Rick Porcello was back home in New Jersey, back in the gym, sweating out the worst year of his career as though it were the flu.He had a pretty good ability to just kind of shut it off, said Mickey Brueckner, Porcellos longtime trainer and founder of Annex Sports Performance Center in Chatham, New Jersey. Obviously there were some negative emotions associated with last year. But Rick had a pretty short memory.If Porcellos way of getting over 2015 was to barely mention it again, Hanley Ramirez was presented with almost daily reminders of his dreadful first season with the Red Sox. They came in the form of offseason drop-ins by several team officials, from mental skills coach Laz Gutierrez to manager John Farrell and even president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.Never in my life, Ramirez said, had his winter workouts drawn so much attention during a decade in the big leagues. Thats how bad last season was for Ramirez, a train wreck in left field, seemingly in decline at the plate and a mope in the clubhouse.Porcello and Ramirez were symbols of an organization that appeared to have lost its way. They were problems, not solutions, and the Red Sox were stuck with them thanks to bad contracts and worse performance.But here are the Sox, on the verge of facing the Cleveland Indians in the Division Series after having gone from last to first in the American League East on the strength of a talented crop of homegrown players and ageless franchise icon David Ortiz. Porcello and Ramirez have risen from the bottom, too, becoming indispensable members of the roster, their redemptive seasons mirroring the teams.Ramirez hit 30 homers, drove in a career-high 111 runs, played a respectable first base and recently was described by Farrell as the Comeback Player of the Year, without question. That would be true if not for Porcello, who went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA, emerged as a Cy Young Award favorite and was so rock steady that he was the choice to start Game 1 against the Indians on Thursday night, pushing $217 million ace lefty David Price to Game 2.So, how did they do it? How did Porcello and Ramirez go from big-money disappointments to money players? To understand that, you have to go back to their respective offseasons.Porcello: Ace-in-trainingThe Red Soxs 2015 season finale is remembered mostly for the players postgame salute to popular play-by-play man Don Orsillo, whose dismissal was a bigger story than anything happening on the field. Porcello drew the start in that last game at Cleveland, gave up two earned runs and pitched into the seventh inning for the seventh time in eight starts.Looking back, it was a preview of things to come.Porcello returned home, took about a week off and went to see Brueckner, his trainer since his senior year at Seton Hall Prep in 2007. As they do every year, Porcello and Brueckner sat down to discuss their offseason program. This time, though, there was something different about Porcello.Not to say he wasnt focused in the years before because hes always had an immense amount of focus, but he was just eager to kind of get to work and put everything that happened last year behind him and start fresh, Brueckner said. Obviously he felt like his first year with the Red Sox he didnt compete as well as he wouldve liked. He felt like he almost had to prove it to himself before anybody else.Porcello was traded to the Red Sox in December 2014 and projected as a potential ace in a rotation that lacked a proven No. 1 starter. Then, before he threw a single regular-season pitch, he signed a four-year, $82.5 million contract extension that made him the first $20 million-per-year pitcher in franchise history.It was a lot to handle for a pitcher who had spent the first five years of his career cloaked in the shadows of Detroit Tigers aces Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. So, Porcello tried to be someone hes not. Rather than leaning on his signature sinker to induce weak contact, he tried to blow away hitters with his pedestrian fastball. It didnt work. Neither did a change to his offseason training regimen in which he began throwing off a mound in early December, several weeks ahead of his normal schedule because he wanted to report early for spring training and make a positive impression.That was one of the things that we wanted to adjust going into this year, Brueckner said. He was like, You know, I felt like I started too soon with my throwing program. So, the focus was to get away from the baseball. We shifted a little bit away from trying to ramp up quickly with the throwing. And I think it really worked out for him.Instead, Porcello and Brueckner went back to what worked in the past. They concentrated on biomechaniics and making sure Porcellos body and arm were in sync in order to prepare for a long season ahead. Enzo Perez Jersey. The result: Porcello worked 223 innings, fourth in the AL behind Price (230), Verlander (227 2/3) and Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale (226 2/3). Porcello completed at least six innings in all but three of his 33 starts.Maintaining that level of consistency has been the most important thing for me, Porcello said. Im not going to go out there and blow 98 by guys or have some nasty wipeout pitch. But I can go after a lineup with my repertoire, and hopefully I have a weapon for each hitter.Watching from afar, Brueckner has seen Porcellos confidence build throughout the season. Porcello pitches to his strengths and trusts his infield defense, especially Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts up the middle.Porcello doesnt consider himself an ace -- Get out of here with that, he said?at the mention of the word -- but he sure acts like one. He has exhibited an attitude that all top-of-the-rotation pitchers have. Dombrowski knew it existed when he drafted Porcello in the first round for the Tigers in 2007, and the Red Sox believed in it when they traded for him.With the success to back it up, Porcello isnt afraid to show it, whether its yelling back when Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado was upset at being hit by a pitch or having a heated conversation with New York Yankees third baseman Chase Headley.Into June or July, you could start to see his confidence come back -- and in a way that Ive never really seen and I love seeing, Brueckner said. He almost had a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Hes edgy. That was a side of him that I knew was there, but Id never really seen on the mound. I could really tell that he was locked in, and thats the kind of thing that maybe he lacked last year.Said Porcello: I dont define myself or anybody else as an ace. I dont ever want to think that and then get complacent or stop working. Were winning ballgames, and it just feels good to be contributing to that.Hanley: Falling in lineOn Sept. 15, Ramirez notched perhaps the biggest hit of the season for the team that scored more runs than any other. With the Red Sox trailing 5-2 and down to their final out after losing their previous two games, Ramirez belted a three-run homer against New York Yankees closer Dellin Betances to close out a 7-5 win.Everybody is just going out there and giving everything we got every day, Ramirez said after that game. Ive been saying it the whole year: We dont give up.It was almost hard to believe the Red Sox gave up on Ramirez one year earlier.With Ramirez dealing with a shoulder injury, the Sox sent him home to South Florida before the season ended. They gave him a clear directive: Lose weight, get in better shape and prepare to play first base, a second new position in as many years.The Red Sox also wanted Ramirez to work on becoming a better teammate. They wanted him to be more like his mentor, Ortiz. Trust me, this is the organization that signed him, this is the organization he always wanted to play for, Ortiz said. We talked. We talk all the time. Hanley is like a little brother to me. I let him know how to deal with things when the tough times show up. Hes got to learn.Ramirez trained differently in the offseason, becoming leaner and more agile. He worked with Gutierrez, his neighbor in the Miami area, to take grounders at first base even before he got to spring training and became infield coach Brian Butterfields pet project.The change of position has gone a long way into his comfort level coming back into the infield, Farrell said. Honestly, I think he felt a bit out of sorts as a left fielder, maybe a little displaced from a defensive standpoint. Hes done a fantastic job. And offensively, hes been a huge boost to the middle of that lineup.Indeed, Ramirezs .866 OPS is his best over a full season since 2009 with the Florida Marlins. He carried the Red Sox in September, batting .307 with 11 homers, 26 RBIs and a 1.045 OPS through his final 27 games.Just in case anyone doubted Ortizs influence, when Red Sox players donned their favorite sports jerseys on a long flight from San Diego to Toronto last month, Ramirez walked onto the plane wearing Big Papis No. 34 road gray.Last year, going from the infield to the outfield, it kind of got him a little bit, Ortiz said. But I told you in spring training that I was happy about him playing first base. You have seen the results. Its a totally different way to look at how productive he has been and the season he has had. Hes having a season he hasnt had in the past couple of years.And like Porcellos season, one that few saw coming. ' ' ' 
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