Bird expects to be a major contributor to this madness very soon.

I’m getting back into the everyday grind of baseball, which I love, he said. That’s how you figure it out… getting back into it. I’m a big believer in little things change and all of sudden you have two homers instead of two flyball outs, you’ve got a walk instead of a strikeout. It can change quickly.

But the putting issue is also nothing new; Woods couldn’t buy a putt in his last start, which came two weeks ago at the Memorial.

On Saturday alone at that tournament, he missed five putts from inside eight feet, including a pair of four-footers.

At least on Thursday, Woods only missed two such putts, both of which came from inside six feet, six inches. But he also didn’t make a single putt of significant length, with only one make coming outside of five feet – a 10-foot-8 bogey putt on No. 2.

Beyond that, his list of makes read more like a list furniture measurements: one foot, three inches; two feet, four inches; one foot, four inches; four feet, two inches; one foot, two inches; one foot, six inches…

Boston, 25, spent last year with the Chargers after toiling for the Panthers from 2014 to 2016. The former Panthers defender is mired in a dead safety market along with Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro and Mike Mitchell.

Boston has met with the Colts and Cardinals, saying of his Indianapolis visit: I didn’t meet with the [general manager], [head coach] or [defensive coordinator]. I was in the lunch room for [two] hours. I even got to play basketball.

As for his Cardinals meet-and-greet, Boston told Sirius: They rolled out the red carpet for me, but the offer was very, very disrespectful.

People think that you can find safeties anywhere, one former defensive coordinator told NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks. Listen to how people always talk about aging cornerbacks moving inside to safety when they lose their athleticism. Sure, some guys can do it, but there’s a lot more that goes into the position than some realize. You have to be smart and a communicator to play in the back end. You also need to be a solid tackler in the open field.

You can’t just throw anybody in there and expect them to have success.

Justin Verlander has won nine games this season and maintained a sub-2.00 ERA into the middle of June.

He’s reached 197 victories for his career. Verlander hit the 2,500-strikeout mark earlier this season, so when he hits 200 wins, he will join some rarefied air. Only Mike Mussina, Bob Feller and Walter Johnson have recorded at least 200 wins and 2,500 strikeouts while spending their entire career in the American League.

Well, if Verlander gets to 19 wins this year (an aggressive assumption), he will have averaged 17 wins over the past three seasons. As mentioned, he’s on top of his game and playing for the best team in the big leagues, one poised to remain in the elite tier for the time being.

Let’s say Verlander extends this 17-win average for three more seasons. He’s then at 261 wins. If he gets that close, is there any doubt he’d go for it, especially considering his adulation of historical greats like Nolan Ryan?

Igwenagu has long been close to making Rutgers his pick, but took some time to mull over his other options Army, Temple, Buffalo, Kent State, Bryant, UMass and Rice as well as schools close to offering, like UConn, Boston College and UCLA.

He’s an explosive defender, who projects to safety strong, free and nickel but could also kick down to Sam or Will linebacker if Rutgers were to have a need there.

Igwenagu been recruited to Rutgers primarily by defensive backs coach Noah Joseph, who surely appreciates Igwenagu’s twitch, hips, range and ability to move with all that length.

When the Browns took Ward fourth overall this year, they passed on a player many considered to be the best player and/or the best defender in the draft in pass rusher Bradley Chubb. That doesn’t make the selection of Ward a bad pick, but it does put a bit more pressure on Ward to produce, not that he wouldn’t have been under pressure if he’d gone later in the first round.

Larry Fitzgerald won’t say whether this year will be his last

Many think Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald will exit the NFL after the 2018 season, the 15th of his Hall of Fame career. Fitzgerald isn’t thinking that far ahead.

I’m just trying to make it to February in one piece, Fitzgerald said after a Wednesday minicamp practice, via the Associated Press.

When I say that I’m not saying it jokingly, that’s the mentality that you have to have, Fitzgerald added. All these guys, they’re not bringing them in here for their own health. They’re bringing them here to give them the opportunity to take your job. That’s not lost on me ever. I’m fighting and competing just like everybody else is.

Fitzgerald’s longevity may depend on the quality of quarterback play. He seems to be impressed with rookie Josh Rosen, the 10th overall pick in the draft.

Besides the skirmish, Shurmur was overall pleased with what he got out of his team through offseason activities. The Giants headed their separate ways Thursday for five weeks until training camp begins.

Very productive offseason, Shurmur said. I told the players we’ve come a long way, but we got a long way to go in all areas.

I don’t like watching myself argue, Piniella told the Daily News. If I’m on TV and see ESPN or anybody running it I turn it off. I’m a little embarrassed about that. I wish I hadn’t gone through the gyrations that I did. I’m very, very passionate, but I probably overdid it at times.

No disrespect to Sweet Lou, but clips of his old arguments — some of them bordering on legendary — are quite entertaining, and show the kind of passion some feel is missing in the sport today. Here’s a mix of some of his greatest hits.

Surprisingly, Piniella said he’s good friends with some of the umpires he blasted on the field.

I feel bad for some of the umpires that I had some run-ins with, he said. They are good friends of mine and I respect the job that they’ve done. But I don’t watch those things.

B.J. Hill may have been overshadowed at times on a North Carolina State defensive line that included fifth-overall pick Bradley Chubb, but he has still found ways to make a strong early impression with the Giants.

Joe Cardona gets four-year extension with Patriots

Fullback James Develin wasn’t the only role player to land a contract extension with the Patriots on Thursday.

Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports that the team has agreed to a four-year extension with long snapper Joe Cardona. Word of Develin’s two-year deal surfaced earlier in the day.

Cardona was a 2015 fifth-round pick out of the Naval Academy and had his active service requirement delayed under a policy that was rescinded by the Department of Defense last year. That change is not retroactively applied to Cardona or other players granted an exemption.

And so, Webb said he will not take much of a break. He will go home to Texas for a short time, but even there he will not put away football. He intends to hang out at Prosper High School, where his dad, Matt, is a coach, to throw, work out and study film. Webb also plans on increasing his running to get in top condition for his second NFL training camp.

As a result, the Cardinals now have 89 players on their active roster. That leaves them with a spot to fill before training camp gets underway in a little more than a month.

Ginda entered the draft with a year of eligibility left, but went undrafted out of San Jose State. He signed with the Cardinals right after the draft was over and will now try to continue his bid for an NFL career elsewhere.

Prior to leaving the Giants facility, Webb went upstairs into the coaching offices, seeking four or five bullet points of things I need to work on these next six weeks. He already had three in mind: Increase his knowledge of the protection schemes, better understand why certain routes are getting called and become more efficient moving around in the pocket.

I want to be a good player, Webb said. I’m not there yet. I want to be good and I’m gonna try to do as much as I can to get good.

Washington State head coach Mike Leach fell hard for the fake.

Yankees’ offense stagnant in loss to Rays

CC Sabathia did his part. The offense just couldn’t support the starter on Sunday.

The Yankees failed to record multiple hits in any inning, and outside of an Aaron Hicks solo home run, the offense sputtered in a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Old-Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium.

So, will this be Kay’s last contract with the team? Don’t count on it.

I don’t see any end in sight, Kay told The Post. I want to keep doing this as long as I want to and as long as they want me to.

Kay will continue to host his afternoon drive show on 98.7 ESPN. In the latest ratings, Kay and his crew were beat by the return of Mike Francesa on WFAN.

He was hardly a factor in 2013 and 2014, was suspended the entire 2015 season for a third violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy and didn’t play a down after being reinstated in 2016. 

Jordan was a good-riddance cut the following offseason, but the Dolphins were left wondering about everything else they could have done with the two premium draft picks and $19 million they wasted on the guy. 

It takes a hell of a mistake to trump the five-year, $60 million deal the Dolphins gave Mike Wallace the same year, but that 2013 draft decision does the trick. 

Jackson was easily the most athletic and fastest quarterback in this year’s draft, and maybe in quite some time. He’s so athletic that some teams wanted him to work out as a wide receiver. Jackson turned that down, because, well, he’s a first-round quarterback prospect, so why on earth would he need to play another position? The Ravens insisted after the draft that they see Jackson strictly as a quarterback as well, but they’re also using him to run the ball in some practices.

Minkah Fitzpatrick sees some things in common between Saban, Gase

On the surface, Nick Saban and Adam Gase don’t seem all that similar. Rookie first-round cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick sees it differently.

The contract’s going to come, Williams said, via the New York Post. There’s no pressure for it. I’m not like thirsty for it or anything like that. I just want to keep working hard and keep focusing on year by year and just making myself the best possible and helping my team be the best possible, and the money will come.

I set my own expectation, Mayfield said. I don’t listen to anybody else’s, that’s how I always have been. And so for me, the pace has been a little bit slower than I really wanted it. There’s always bumps in the road, it’s not going to be perfect, that’s for sure.

It’s weird. Even now I’m like, it’s me. I’m the punter, Martin said. I always was with Nate and Tulloch and it was just sitting here. All the sponsors still wanted to do it so it just really needed a name to put on it. It was an easy thing for me to pick up last year.

It’s definitely a good feeling. I still have a bigger vision for my foundation but after five years, I like where we’re at.

Martin put his money on quarterback Jake Rudock being one of the best players on the diamond and he turned out to be right.

We’re just focusing on the guys that are here, but we’re always in constant dialogue with Aaron and his group, and would like to come to a solution.

When that’s going to happen, it’s hard to say.

The Browns signed, then didn’t sign and then did sign linebacker Mychal Kendricks

jets_052On Sunday Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Mychal Kendricks had signed with the Browns. This was all well and good until Kendricks heard the news.

Kendricks also didn’t use the most work safe language when asked to comment on the report.

That probably made the official news later that day that the Browns have in fact signed Kendricks to a one-year deal worth $3.5 million, a little more awkward.

It is very hard to tell why Kendricks would be so upset with the fact his deal was apparently leaked early. Some thought it was the idea that he would even play for the Browns, but that clearly can’t be the case if he decided to play for them.

The Rams pushed all the chips to the center of the table with the offseason acquisitions of Ndamukong Suh, Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, but Donald will remain the most important part of Los Angeles’ D. Donald has been one of the best defensive linemen in football for years now, but general manager Les Snead’s offseason haul has the potential to take Donald’s game to another level. Suh’s arrival, in particular, as an elite space-eating nose tackle should free up Donald to attack the quarterback in a way he’s never done before. Donald is already in a class of his own as an interior pass rusher — this could be the year he reaches his statistical apex. It’s a scary thought.

With all the offensive upgrades this season running back Saquon Barkley, left tackle Nate Solder, Hernandez the Giants expect Manning to bounce back to form after several down seasons.

We can win with him, Giants co-owner John Mara said of Manning. Objectively, Dave [Gettleman] and Pat both said he can still play.

Here’s the reminder that rookie running backs hit the ground, well, running in the NFL. Players at other positions might need a few years to reach the height of their powers, but a tailback could give you the best season of his career in Year 1. Which brings us to Barkley, the most talked-up running back prospect in the league since Reggie Bush. Barkley is a true do-it-all back who immediately makes the Giants better, both in the rushing and passing games. Giants GM Dave Gettleman said he was looking at a transformational talent with the second overall pick — Barkley checks every box. This should be fun.

Cora joked about the coaches having to pitch to Martinez in the cage behind the dugout during games.

jets_043There’s a few sore arms on the coaching staff throwing during the game, he said. But we’re happy, there’s plenty of ice for them after the game.

White Sox: RHP Reynaldo Lopez (1-4, 3.42 ERA) is scheduled to make his first career start against the Red Sox in the series finale Sunday. He’s 0-3 with a 4.86 ERA in seven road starts this season.

The top pitcher in each league will take the hill Sunday as Max Scherzer and Corey Kluber are slated to close out the fantasy week. If you aren’t fortunate enough to have either on your roster, there are a few options to help make up some ground late. There’s also a nice array of bats to aid on that side of the ledger.

Good luck to those playing in head-to-head leagues. Here are some readily available players in favorable spots to help in all formats.

Nathan Eovaldi (R), rostered in 20 percent of ESPN leagues, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners: Since returning from the disabled list, Eovaldi has been his own opening act, tossing a total of 11 innings with a modest eight strikeouts but only two walks. His velocity is at its usual 97 mph, so he should get more punchouts. The Mariners are an average offense versus righties, so don’t expect a dominating performance, but something similar to Eovaldi’s first two outings will suffice.

I was just happy to get through it and be healthy, he said. Obviously wish I would’ve made some better pitches and got ahead of guys. I fell behind, led to some more pitches.

Three of Chicago’s infielders made an error: shortstop Tim Anderson booted a grounder, and second baseman Yoan Moncada and first baseman Abreu each had one throwing.

To be honest, I thought we just didn’t help him defensively, manager Rick Renteria said.

Boston had erased a 2-0 deficit by scoring a run in the first and second. Bradley’s homer into the center field seats tied it after Eduardo Nunez’s fielder’s choice grounder drove in a run.

Price gave up a run before getting an out in the first when Abreu doubled off the Green Monster after a single and walk. Kevan Smith’s groundout scored the second run.

Red Sox: Manager Alex Cora said OF Mookie Betts (10-day disabled list, left abdominal strain) actually felt better after taking BP on the field. If everything goes well, we’ll do it again tomorrow, Cora said. He seems like now he’s gaining momentum. The plan is likely for him to play a game on a rehab assignment. … The news wasn’t as good for 2B Dustin Pedroia (DL, left knee inflammation). Cora said his baseball activities are being limited.

Oliver Vernon won’t kneel for anthem, possibly will stay in locker room

jets_049Throughout the 2017 season, Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon took a knee during the national anthem. In 2018, he won’t.

I mean, I ain’t trying to get fined, Vernon said Saturday at Landon Collins’ celebrity softball game, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. So no.

Poncedeleon knows the injury, which could have ended his career, remains a big topic for everyone.

That’s long gone for me, he said. I was hoping everyone would forget about it and notice me as [a] pitcher and not a guy who got hit in the head. The dent will always be there. But it’s not going to define me.

John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ president of baseball operations, is pleased about the happy ending to Poncedeleon’s story.

The Cardinals signed Brice Butler as a free agent this offseason and his starting experience over five years with the Raiders and Cowboys is limited to seven games. Butler, who has 73 career catches, doesn’t think that will keep him from making it clear that he’s the best choice for such a role in Arizona.

Yeah, I’m going to prove it, Butler said, via AZCentral.com. That’s why I came here. I definitely didn’t come to not be on the field with Larry. But it’s not going to be given to me.

Butler’s limited starts leave him in a similar boat as his competition. J.J. Nelson and Cobi Hamilton have made occasional starts, Chad Williams made one as a rookie last year and Christian Kirk was drafted this year, so someone’s going to be getting a lot more experience as a first-teamer even if Butler fails to deliver

Clark is best known for pulling in the winning touchdown pass from Joe Montana in the 1982 conference championship game. The play led the 49ers to a victory over the Cowboys and became known simply as The Catch.

Clark first began experiencing symptoms of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in September 2015, according to a report by NBC Sports . He publicly announced he was battling the disease in March 2017.

Giants’ Saquon Barkley Week 2 OTAs highlights

jets_050Whenever Odell Beckham is fully healthy, the Giants are going to have the NFL’s most buzzworthy practices.

Beckham already is a practice phenom, with his one-handed catches during pregame warmups causing a spectacle. And rookie first-round draft pick Saquon Barkley’s hype train is heading in that direction.

Teammates already are impressed.

He’s a guy that can play ball, veteran guard Patrick Omameh said. He’s shown that at the college level and now he’s going to get a chance to prove it at the pro level. We’ve got all the faith in the world in him. Very confident that he can get the job done and our team is going to be better for it.

I think when you hear about going into this year and this winter and in the past about Gleyber being one of the best prospects in the game, I think a lot of people would talk about the intangible element and I think he has that. So I really don’t worry about when storms come with him. We’ll walk alongside him and deal with things as they come as best we can, but I feel like he’s really equipped to handle things.

The Green Bay Packers have padded their offensive line.

The team announced Wednesday that Byron Bell has been signed to an undisclosed deal.

The 29-year-old Bell spent last season as a backup to All-Pro Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith, playing 243 snaps on the year.

Bell’s biggest workload came early in his career as a four-year starting tackle for the Panthers from 2011 to 2014. He joined the Titans in 2015, but hasn’t been the same since missing the 2016 campaign with an ankle injury.