Weather Logo

Weekend:  Chance of Precipitation: Fri: 10% / Sat: 0% / Sun: 60%.

  23 °

Doppler Radar |  Pollen Count |  Video Forecasts |  Weekend Weather Forecast |  10-Day Forecast
Sports

News provided by MSNBC
Peterson says 'fresh start' might be best
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Adrian Peterson says he realizes moving on from the Minnesota Vikings might be best for both him and the team. In an interview published Thursday by USA Today, Peterson said he believes the coaches and players on the team are fully behind him but that feelings in the organization toward him are mixed after he was charged with felony child abuse in Texas for using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son. He pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless assault. "I know who loves me. The coaches and the players, it's not going to be a problem. I've felt so much support from those guys. The organization, I know there's people in the organization that support me and there's people that I know internally that has not been supporting me," Peterson told the newspaper. He said he has given a lot of thought to the idea that "maybe it's best for me to get a fresh start somewhere else." "I would love to go back and play in Minnesota to get a feel and just see if my family still feels comfortable there," he told USA Today (http://usat.ly/1F6vQN7). "But if there's word out that, hey, they might release me, then so be it. I would feel good knowing that I've given everything I had in me." Peterson said he spoke last week with his son for the first time in five months. He told the newspaper he "won't ever use a switch again," that he has been seeing a therapist and meeting a pastor certified in counseling near his Houston-area home, and has learned other ways to discipline his children. On paid leave from the Vikings for more than two months, Peterson was informed this week by the NFL he will be suspended without pay for at least the rest of the season. The NFL Players Association has appealed the punishment on his behalf, and Peterson will continue to draw his salary on the exempt list until the appeal is resolved. Regardless of which team he plays for next year, assuming he's reinstated by the league, Peterson said his focus has been on family - restoring his relationship with the boy and becoming a better parent. Peterson has fathered six children by six different women. He was married July 19. "No one knows how I felt when I turned my child around after spanking him and seeing what I had left on his leg," Peterson said. "No one knows that Dad sat there and apologized to him, hugged him and told him that I didn't mean to do this to you and how sorry I was." Peterson said he declined to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week because of unanswered questions he and the union had about the process. "I didn't want to go into a situation blind. I didn't know what to expect. Who's going to be there? Who will I be meeting with? What details are we going to get into?" he said. Peterson also said he was upset by Goodell's accusation in the letter about the suspension that he showed "no meaningful remorse" about injuring the boy. "Ultimately, I know I'll have my opportunity to sit down with Roger face to face, and I'll be able to say a lot of the same things that I've said to you," Peterson told the newspaper. "Don't say that I'm not remorseful, because in my statement, I showed that I was remorseful. I regretted everything that took place. I love my child, more than anyone could ever imagine." Fri, 21 Nov 2014 07:42:00 +0000
Bills' home game against Jets relocated to Detroit
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Snowed out in Buffalo, the Bills are heading to Detroit to play their "home" game against the New York Jets on Monday night. The NFL announced the location and date of the game on Thursday night after a severe lake-effect storm paralyzed much of the Buffalo region. More than 5 feet of snow has fallen in the Buffalo area since Monday, and another 1 to 3 feet was projected to fall by Friday. The storm forced the Bills to cancel their past two days of practice because of impassable roads and driving bans in Orchard Park and many communities neighboring Ralph Wilson Stadium. The team intends to travel to Detroit on Friday and practice at the Lions' facility. The Lions are at New England on Sunday. "We greatly appreciate the hospitality of the Detroit Lions in hosting the Bills and this game," NFL spokesman Michael Signora said. This marks the second time the Bills will play at Ford Field this season following a 17-14 win over the Lions on Oct. 5. It also is the second time in four years the facility has hosted a neutral site game. The last time an NFL game was moved to Ford Field unexpectedly, the fans who did show up witnessed a bit of history. Brett Favre's streak of 297 regular-season starts came to an end that night - on Dec. 13, 2010 - when the Minnesota Vikings lost to the New York Giants 21-3. Favre was sidelined by shoulder and hand issues. That game was moved to Detroit because the Metrodome roof collapsed. "We are pleased to be hosting the Bills and Jets for their game Monday night," Lions president Tom Lewand said. "While our thoughts are with the people of the Buffalo area during this difficult time, our team at Ford Field will do everything we can to be good hosts to their team this weekend." The decision should help the Bills get back on track after their routine was disrupted by the storm. It also gives them an extra day to prepare, with the game pushed back from Sunday. "A big part of preparation is practice and lifting and nutrition, and that's been compromised," Bills president Russ Brandon said before the location of the game was announced. "And it's certainly something we're looking into and trying to do the best as we try to prepare to play the Jets whenever that may be." Bills coach Doug Marrone and his staff have been living at the Bills headquarters since Tuesday. They've been going over the game plan and consulting with the team by phone and computer because a majority of the players have been snowed in. And those who can get out are unable to travel to the facility. The next step is devising a way to get all the players and staff to the airport, which has remained open because it is north of where much of the storm hit. The Bills (5-5) are already coming off an extended break. They had last weekend off following a 22-9 loss at Miami on Nov. 13. The Jets (2-8) are coming out of their bye week, and haven't played since a 20-13 win against Pittsburgh on Nov. 9. Jets coach Rex Ryan said his team wouldn't be hampered by a change of venue. "It wouldn't affect us," Ryan said. "We'd just aim our plane in a different direction, I guess." Earlier on Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it would be difficult for the game to be played in Buffalo because snow removal and emergency resources were already stretched thin. "If you ask me today, right now, my sense is it's impractical to do the game because it would jeopardize public safety," Cuomo said. "Everybody would love to see a Bills game go forward, but I think even more, everybody wants to make sure public safety comes first." Given how much snow needs to be cleared, Brandon said there's no telling if Ralph Wilson Stadium will be ready in time for the Bills' next home game against the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 30. Without providing any assurances, Brandon said it will take "an all hands on deck exercise" to have the stadium ready to host the Browns. He added that the Bills are already contemplating the possibility of spending much of next week practicing out of town while the cleanup in Buffalo continues. The Bills estimated on Wednesday that 220,000 tons of snow covered the team's 200-acre grounds - enough to fill their practice fieldhouse eight times over. The temperatures are expected to warm into the 40s by Saturday, with a high of 47 projected for Sunday. But a sudden thaw presents another problem by raising flooding concerns. Starting guard Kraig Urbik is among the Bills players who are snowed in. "Any chance my street gets plowed today," Urbik posted on his Twitter account Thursday. "Or are we stuck here till Saturday?" --- Associated Press writer Chris Carola, in Albany, New York, and AP Sports Writers Dennis Waszak Jr., in Florham Park, New Jersey, and Noah Trister in Detroit contributed to this report. --- AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Fri, 21 Nov 2014 03:35:00 +0000
LA Kings' Voynov charged with domestic violence
LOS ANGELES (AP) Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was charged with felony domestic violence on Thursday by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Voynov faces one felony count of corporal injury to a spouse with great bodily injury. In a statement providing the first public details of the incident, the district attorney's office said Voynov "caused his wife to suffer injuries to her eyebrow, cheek and neck" during an argument at their home, several hours after the Kings won an afternoon game. The 24-year-old Russian Olympian has been suspended since his arrest early Oct. 20 at a hospital in Torrance, California. He had taken his wife to the hospital for treatment of injuries from their home in nearby Redondo Beach. Craig Renetzky, Voynov's attorney, has repeatedly said his client didn't hit his wife. Renetzky also said Voynov shouldn't have been arrested, blaming a misunderstanding between police and Voynov's wife, who speaks even less English than her husband. "Mr. Voynov is extremely disappointed that the district attorney's office elected to file charges," Renetzky said in a statement. "Mr. Voynov maintains his innocence and looks forward to clearing his name in court. We remain confident." Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the NHL before he even posted bail on the morning of his arrest. The Kings have wholeheartedly supported the league's disciplinary actions, and they affirmed that position in a statement issued by the team after Voynov was charged. "We are aware of the actions taken today in California, which we will review and evaluate before making any decisions," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "Until further notice, the current terms of Mr. Voynov's suspension remain in place." The NHL's position means the Kings will not receive salary cap relief in the absence of Voynov, who is still being paid his $3 million salary during his suspension. With Voynov still counting against the cap, Los Angeles was forced to play with five defensemen earlier this month while unable to recall anyone from the minors to fill in for an injured player. "As an organization we will continue to closely monitor the developments of the legal proceedings and work in partnership with the NHL to determine the proper course of action in the future," the Kings said in their statement. Voynov isn't allowed to practice or play for the team, but he has been skating at the Kings' training complex after their practices, sometimes under the supervision of an assistant coach. Voynov will be arraigned Dec. 1 in Torrance. The charge carries a maximum penalty of nine years in prison, and Voynov also could face deportation. Voynov is a two-time Stanley Cup champion who also played for Russia at the Sochi Olympics. He will miss his 14th straight game Thursday night when the Kings host Carolina. Through her own attorney, Voynov's wife previously said she didn't want charges filed against the defenseman, but California authorities aren't required to consider such wishes when deciding to file charges. Voynov and his wife got married during the summer. They are still living together and raising her child from a prior relationship. Voynov earned a spot in the Kings' lineup as a rookie during their run to their first Stanley Cup title in 2011-12. He scored a career-best 34 points last season, and he has two assists in six games this year. The Kings signed Voynov to a six-year, $25 million contract extension in June 2013. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 23:54:00 +0000
NBA union head: Taylor suspension violates CBA
NEW YORK (AP) The executive director of the NBA Players Association said Thursday the suspension given to Charlotte's Jeffery Taylor by Commissioner Adam Silver is "excessive, without precedent and a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement." Michele Roberts adds that the union is ready to file an immediate appeal, but that the choice is Taylor's. Silver suspended Taylor for 24 games without pay on Wednesday after the forward pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor domestic violence assault and malicious destruction of hotel property. Taylor will lose nearly $200,000 of his $915,000 salary this season. Taylor will get credit for the 11 games he has missed, and will sit out an additional 13 for a total which is slightly more than one-fourth of the league's 82-game schedule. "The CBA contemplates a minimum 10-game suspension in any case involving a conviction for a violent felony, including domestic violence. In contrast, Jeff Taylor was charged with a misdemeanor that is likely to be dismissed at the end of a probationary period," Roberts said in a statement. Taylor was sentenced to 18 months of probation. As part of his probation, he must complete 26 weeks in a domestic violence intervention program. Silver issued a statement Wednesday in which he said: "This suspension is necessary to protect the interests of the NBA and the public's confidence in it. Mr. Taylor's conduct violates applicable law and, in my opinion, does not conform to standards of morality and is prejudicial and detrimental to the NBA." But Roberts notes that the penalty is one of the longest in NBA history. "We have a scheme of discipline that was the result of collective bargaining between the parties that has been applied consistently over the years," she said. "While we appreciate the sensitivity of this societal issue, the Commissioner is not entitled to rewrite the rules or otherwise ignore precedent in disciplinary matters." Taylor can appeal the suspension to an independent arbitrator. "While ultimately this is Jeff's decision, we stand ready to file an immediate appeal on his behalf," Roberts said. Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:11:00 +0000
Manfred given 5-year term as baseball commissioner
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Praising the transition as quick and orderly, Bud Selig announced Thursday that baseball owners unanimously approved a five-year term for Rob Manfred, who will succeed the longtime commissioner early next year. Selig spoke at the conclusion of two days of meetings in Kansas City, where owners discussed a variety of issues that included pace of play, instant replay and domestic violence initiatives. Selig will chair his final owners' meeting in January in Arizona. "I've been so busy and every day is so frenetic that the last month or two, I'm sure I'll spend a lot of time thinking about it," Selig said, "but you know, we are where we want to be. We're having a wonderful transition, orderly transition, good transition. That's very important." Manfred, who has worked for MLB since 1998, was chosen to replace the 80-year-old Selig in August over Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. He will assume office Jan. 25. "It hits me every day when I go to work," Manfred said. "I agree with Commissioner Selig, we've had a really productive and smooth transition." One of Manfred's mandates will be to attract young fans back to baseball, and many believe that will involve speeding up the game. The average time of a nine-inning game increased from 2 hours, 33 minutes, in 1981 to a record 3:02 this year, with postseason games stretching nearly 4 hours. Selig appointed a committee chaired by Braves President John Schuerholz to discuss ways to improve the pace of play. Among the ideas experimented during the Arizona Fall League were pitch clocks and requiring hitters to remain in the batter's box between pitches. MLB can't alter the rules for 2015 without agreement from the players' association, though it can implement changes unilaterally with one year advance notice. Selig said union head Tony Clark and other representatives from the players' association provided their input. "I want the committee to continue to do its work," Selig said. "This was very productive in terms of ideas. The experience in the Arizona Fall League made quite an impact on a lot of people." When changes may be implemented at the major league level remains to be seen. Selig said he wants to "push them" and will have more to say on the subject in the next couple months. Owners also spent time discussing the first season of expanded instant replay, largely considered a success after several calls were overturned during the postseason. The system also slowed games. Given the opportunity to challenge everything from force and tag plays to fan interference and home runs, managers often stalled in the middle of the diamond while awaiting word from their dugout whether to contest a call. "I think the core of replay will be similar," Manfred said. "I think the changes we're contemplating - without getting into them - are largely technology improvements. ... I think there are also some issues related to exactly how long it takes to get replay going." MLB Executive Vice President Joe Torre said during a recent meeting of general managers in Phoenix that putting a stop to all the lingering would be a priority. "That's one area we'll do something differently," Torre said. "I'm not sure what that is, but certainly we will eliminate some of that standing around because 10 seconds is a long time." Selig also applauded the record-breaking $325 million. 13-year deal reached by the Miami Marlins and Giancarlo Stanton, calling it the "objective of everything we did" in changes to the game's economic model, which included revenue sharing and luxury taxes. "What I like is individual franchises making decisions to make themselves better, Selig said. "I've been reading all the clips, and I do think they're happy in South Florida, and they should be. It's a good sign, a very good sign for them, and that's how you have to look at it." MLB Executive Vice President Dan Halem provided owners with an update on a comprehensive domestic violence program that is being developed for players and non-players alike. Domestic violence has become an issue of increased importance across professional sports. To underscore that point, Selig announced the Seattle Mariners had received the Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence for their "Refuse to Abuse" program. The state-wide educational initiative is designed to promote healthy relationships in Washington state. "It was really great competition. We had three or four clubs, tough decisions to make," Selig said. "It's a program that goes around the state of Washington on domestic abuse, and they've been doing it a long time. This isn't something that just happened." Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:24:00 +0000
Former UNLV coach Tarkanian hospitalized in Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) Naismith Hall of Fame basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian is hospitalized in Las Vegas, where his son says he's being treated for pneumonia. Danny Tarkanian said Thursday that the 84-year-old former Runnin' Rebels coach was stabilized and undergoing medical tests after being taken by ambulance Wednesday to Valley Hospital Medical Center. Danny Tarkanian says his father has a heart condition and is susceptible to chest and lung illness. The coach dubbed "Tark the Shark" was hospitalized for 10 days in April after a heart attack, his second. He had just returned home from a trip to the NCAA Final Four in North Texas. Tarkanian led three schools to the NCAA tournament, including the 1990 UNLV team that won a national title. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:40:00 +0000
NFL fines Lynch $100K for not speaking to media
RENTON, Wash. (AP) For all the noise he creates on the field, Marshawn Lynch's silence with the media has now cost him six figures in fines. The NFL fined Seattle's star $50,000 on Wednesday for violations of the league's media policy. League spokesman Michael Signora confirmed the fine. Along with the $50,000 for violating the NFL Media Policy this year, the league is collecting the $50,000 fine that was imposed against Lynch for violations last season. The fine from 2013 was held in anticipation of future cooperation from Lynch. The league's media policy mandates that players must be available during the week and in the locker room following all games. Lynch has only spoken to reporters postgame after Seattle's Week 9 victory over Oakland and did not talk the past two weeks after games against the Giants and Kansas City. This is Lynch's third fine for violations of the league's media policy. "I'm aware of it," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "It's the rules and all of that." Lynch spoke at his locker on Wednesday for nearly 10 minutes, but almost every question was answered by talking about music or his shoes. When asked if he had any input in designing his shoes, Lynch said, "In this league you really don't have a lot of input in nothing. Just your play. That's about it." The news of Lynch's fine came after he helped light up social media along with teammate Ricardo Lockette. The duo went out of their way to return a lost wallet on their way back from an appearance at the site of a recent school shooting. Lynch and Lockette appeared at Marysville-Pilchuck High on Tuesday along with other Seahawks players. While stopping at a gas station on their way back, the pair noticed that Jason Lynch had dropped his wallet. The pair found that Jason Lynch lived about 20 minutes away and drove to his neighborhood, eventually leaving the wallet with a neighbor because Lynch was not at home. Jason Lynch later posted about the events on social media. "It was all (Marshawn's) idea pretty much, though. He was like `We should take it back,"' Lockette said. Lynch's reclusiveness with the media became a major story at this year's Super Bowl media day. Lynch appeared for 6 1/2 minutes, left the Newark, New Jersey, arena, then returned to a `'mixed zone" the NFL created for players not on podiums or in microphone-equipped speaking areas at the Prudential Center. With the exception of briefly speaking with the NFL Network, to the Seahawks' website, and to Armed Forces Network, he did not deal with reporters that day. `'Players are required to participate and he participated. We will continue to monitor the situation," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said back in January. Lynch appeared at league-mandated media sessions the next two days, again briefly. The NFL has meted out fines to players and coaches before for not adhering to media policies. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was hit for $5,000 for missing the `91 Super Bowl media day. Bills running back Thurman Thomas, like Levy a future Hall of Famer, was docked $5,000 for failing to participate in a mandatory interview session, though not on media day, in `92. Three players have been fined $20,000 for missing media availabilities at the Super Bowl: Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora in 2012; Patriots left tackle Matt Light and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork for refusing to speak to the media following that Super Bowl. The Oakland Raiders were fined $50,000 as a team for not making all coaches and players available for a required media session in 2003. Two star receivers, Randy Moss and Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson, also drew league fines for ignoring media requirements. Wed, 19 Nov 2014 22:59:00 +0000
Disappointed Vikings drop hope of Peterson return
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Adrian Peterson's last appearance in the Minnesota locker room was nearly 10 weeks ago. The Vikings have played all but one game this season without his swift and strong running ability. Optimism for his return remained among Peterson's teammates, particularly following his plea agreement earlier this month that freed him from the court system with only a misdemeanor charge and probation requirements. The hope, now, has vanished. "We know now he's not coming through those doors and coming back this year to be on our team," cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said Wednesday, the day after the NFL gave Peterson a suspension without pay for at least the rest of the season. "We're kind of hurt that he's not, but we knew it was kind of coming, so we just have to move on." Commissioner Roger Goodell ruled Peterson violated the personal conduct policy for the severe injuries to his 4-year-old son he acknowledged to authorities occurred from corporal punishment with a wooden switch. Even if Peterson were to shorten his suspension with a successful appeal, the Vikings actually using him yet this year would be an implausible scenario given the heat they took for initially reinstating him to the roster. Then add in the long time Peterson has been away from practices and meetings, let alone games. "I guess it is a sense of knowing that it is over with. Kind of, I guess, puts people at ease. It's not what we wanted, but at the same time we hope that he gets another shot," running back Jerick McKinnon said. "Great player, great mentor, and I'll still look up to him. I'll stay in touch. I'm praying for him, hoping for the best." The Vikings have six games left and host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. "We can't have a dark cloud over our facility or over our team," quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said, adding: "We would love to have him, but it's out of our hands." Coach Mike Zimmer addressed the Peterson situation with the players Wednesday morning. "I support him and his family and he's been great with me, but other than that ... we've got to move forward. It's just the way life is," Zimmer said. Regardless of their feelings about boundaries of parental discipline and punishment Peterson might have deserved for what was originally a felony charge, Vikings players were unanimous in their support for him and his return. Even rookies like Bridgewater and McKinnon raved about the effort Peterson put into being a leader and a mentor. "There were times in training camp where I'd get down on myself because I may have had a bad practice or didn't like this throw or that throw, and he would always come up to me and tell me, `Hey, you're not going to be perfect. You can't control what everyone's saying about you. You can't control every throw. You just have to trust yourself, play football and trust your God-given abilities,"' Bridgewater said. "Hearing that from Adrian, it just meant a lot." The Vikings were also in lock-step disagreement with Goodell's decision. The NFL Players Association has accused the league of handling the process inconsistently and unfairly, believing Peterson has already been punished by being on the exempt list with pay for the last nine weeks. Goodell has sole discretion to put a player on or take him off the list, which has rarely been used. "Once he got taken care of what he got taken care of in the games he's already missed, I feel like he should be back," fullback Jerome Felton said. Peterson's salary for the season was $11.75 million. He will keep the money accrued while on the exempt list. But the NFL's punishment has now amounted to a 14-game ban, with six unpaid weeks. That's the equivalent of a fine of more than $4.1 million. There are three years and $45 million remaining on his contract, but none of it is guaranteed. The Vikings would take only a $2.4 million hit on their 2015 salary cap if they cut him before next season. NOTES: McKinnon missed practice Wednesday with a lower-back injury, and so did running back Matt Asiata with a concussion. With Joe Banyard the only other ball carrier on the active roster, the Vikings claimed running back Ben Tate off waivers from Cleveland. Tate was overtaken for playing time by rookies Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West after signing as a free agent with the Browns to be their featured back. He sprained his right knee in season opener and missed two games, but returned after the bye week with a bang, rushing for a career-high 124 yards. --- AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Wed, 19 Nov 2014 23:52:00 +0000
Klinsmann says US failed 'to digest' World Cup
DUBLIN (AP) After watching the United States go winless in four straight games for the first time since he took over as coach three years ago, Jurgen Klinsmann had a harsh assessment of the Americans' post-World Cup performances. "They have to learn emotionally how to digest a World Cup, and a lot of our players really had big problems digesting those extreme emotions," the U.S. coach said after Tuesday night's 4-1 exhibition loss to Ireland. "They dropped 20, 30 even 40 percent in performances in their club environment. Many of the Europeans lost their starting spot. Many other players in MLS or wherever went down 30, 40 percent in their performances and this is because they didn't know how to deal with all these emotions and all that recognition and all the compliments in the world that came after the World Cup." "In a certain way it's human," Klinsmann acknowledged. "I mean, it's understandable." But the former World Cup champion player made clear this shows "we are not there yet. We have quite a way to go." Since advancing to the round of 16 at the World Cup and losing 2-1 to Belgium in extra time, the Americans won 1-0 at the Czech Republic, allowed late goals in draws against Honduras and Ecuador, and lost to Colombia and the Irish. Klinsmann used most of his World Cup veterans while also giving six players debuts. He wasn't pleased with the old guard. "You see a Cristiano Ronaldo, a (Lionel) Messi, they make three weeks' vacation, they go back in their club teams and they rock the boat. They play like they didn't go on vacation," he said. "Our players, they went on vacation, they had a good time, they come back and they lost their spots in their clubs." The Americans had not lost by three goals since a 4-1 defeat against Brazil in May 2012. After that match, Klinsmann said "we need to get an edge, more nastier." His message was the same Tuesday. "I'm telling you that again. We've got to get nastier," he said. "It's not a negative word. We have to become more physical. We have to hold our ground more, dominant, and send signals out all over the field." Ireland changed all 11 starters from Friday's 1-0 loss at Scotland in European Championship qualifying and improved to 5-0 in Dublin against the U.S. The Irish went ahead in the seventh minute when David McGoldrick, in his international debut, made a through pass past Matt Besler to the sprinting Anthony Pilkington. He chipped goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who made his second international start and first since January 2012. Mix Diskerud tied the score in the 39th after Jozy Altidore's lofted cross into the penalty area fell to Chris Wondolowski. He dropped a cushioned header to Diskerud, who used the outside of his right foot to flick the ball low into the right corner of the net. After Fabian Johnson's poor clearance was intercepted, Robbie Brady put the 61st-ranked Irish back ahead in the 55th when he scored from 7 yards off McGoldrick's pass. James McClean made it 3-1 in the 82nd when he bounced a 20-yard shot that deflected off defender Geoff Cameron and past Hamid, and Brady curled in a 25-yard free kick in the 86th. The 23rd-ranked Americans dropped to 1-4-3 since beating Ghana in their World Cup opener in June. Coming off Friday's 2-1 defeat to Colombia in London, they have lost consecutive games for the first time since late 2011. The U.S. finished the year 6-5-4, having scored 20 goals and allowed 20. In a worrisome trend for the Americans, they have given up 10 goals from the 80th minute on in their last nine games. "It's something with our mentality maybe?" Alejandro Bedoya wondered. "I don't know what it is. I can't really pinpoint it." Fabian Johnson hit a post in the 22nd minute with a long-range shot, and Altidore's effort from the edge of the penalty area ricocheted off the crossbar in the 43rd. Jordan Morris, a Stanford sophomore, entered in the 76th for his U.S. debut and became the 50th player to appear for the Americans this year. The U.S. Soccer Federation believes no college player had appeared for the national team since Ante Razov in 1995, the year before Major League Soccer started play. The 20-year-old forward returns home for an NCAA tournament second-round match Sunday against UNLV or UC Irvine. "Obviously, it wasn't the result we wanted, but it's something I've been dreaming now since I was a little kid," he said. "So it was an unbelievable honor and a great experience." Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:10:00 +0000
Stanton agrees to record deal with Marlins
MIAMI (AP) The Marlins persuaded Giancarlo Stanton to say yes. He couldn't afford to say no. Stanton agreed to terms Monday on a $325 million, 13-year contract, team owner Jeffrey Loria said. It's the most lucrative deal for an American athlete and averages $25 million per season. "It's a landmark moment for the franchise and Giancarlo," Loria said. The deal includes a no-trade clause, and Stanton can opt out after six years, Loria said. A news conference was planned Wednesday. The Marlins right fielder and centerpiece wasn't due to become eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season, and signing him to a long-term deal was considered a long shot. The Marlins haven't reached the playoffs since 2003, and he was distrustful of the franchise's direction. Miami's 2014 payroll of $52.3 million was the lowest in the majors. The last time they spent big was before the 2012 season, the first in their new ballpark. Then came a disastrous season and salary purge, intensifying fan animosity toward Loria. That sell-off and subsequent roster rebuilding set the stage for the Stanton deal, Loria said. "Unfortunately people didn't understand that two years ago, we had no choice," the owner said. "I had to get to today." Loria's frugal ways in the past angered the players' union and made the franchise the butt of jokes. Given such thriftiness, the generosity toward Stanton becomes even more stunning. His contract tops the $292 million, 10-year deal Miguel Cabrera agreed to with the Detroit Tigers in March. Alex Rodriguez signed the largest previous deal, a $275 million, 10-year contract with the Yankees before the 2008 season. Stanton, who turned 25 on Nov. 8, is perhaps the game's most feared slugger. He has 154 career homers, including 37 this year, despite playing home games in spacious Marlins Park. The two-time All-Star right fielder recently won the NL Hank Aaron Award and was voted the NL's outstanding player in balloting by his fellow major leaguers. He won a Silver Slugger Award and finished second to Clayton Kershaw in NL MVP voting. "Giancarlo Stanton has come of age, and he's going to be here a long time," Loria said. "It's wonderful to have a young man this caliber, integrity and ability, and I'm very happy." Loria said he doesn't expect Stanton to opt out when he's 31, and sees a positive side to the no-trade clause. "There will be no distraction about, `Will he be traded?"' Loria said. Stanton's 2014 season ended Sept. 11 when he was hit in the face by a pitch and suffered fractures in his face and other injuries. Despite missing the final 17 games, he led the NL in homers and slugging for the Marlins, who went 77-85 but ended a three-year streak of last-place finishes in the NL East. The Marlins have said they're not concerned the injuries will have lingering effects. They made locking up Stanton their top offseason priority and overcame his skepticism about their efforts to fielding a winning team. The Marlins believe they're poised to contend next year with a young roster than includes right-handers Jose Fernandez and Henderson Alvarez, Gold Glove left fielder Christian Yelich, center fielder Marcell Ozuna and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:06:00 +0000
Muschamp out as Florida coach after 4 seasons
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Despite trying three coordinators and five quarterbacks, Will Muschamp never figured out one side of the ball at Florida. And it cost him his job. The Gators parted ways with Muschamp on Sunday, one day after a gut-wrenching loss to South Carolina that summed up the former defensive coordinator's four-year tenure as head coach. Muschamp's close-to-the-vest style proved to be too conservative and too unsuccessful for a school with three national champions, eight Southeastern Conference titles and sky-high expectations. Muschamp, who cleaned up a troubled program and made Florida one of the best defensive teams in the SEC, will stick around for the final two regular-season games against Eastern Kentucky and Florida State. He is 27-20, including 17-15 in conference play, in three-plus seasons in Gainesville. "Upon evaluation of our football program, we are not where the program needs to be and should be," athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement. "I've always said that our goal at the University of Florida is to compete for championships on a regular basis. ... I will be forever grateful to Will and his staff for their unwavering commitment to the University of Florida and the mission of our athletic program." The decision came less than 24 hours after a 23-20 loss to South Carolina in overtime. It was Florida's sixth defeat in its last eight games in Gainesville. The last two were debacles that sealed Muschamp's fate, making the guy nicknamed "Coach Boom" a bust at Florida. "I was given every opportunity to get it done here and I simply didn't win enough games - that is the bottom line," Muschamp said in a statement. "I have no bitter feelings, but this is a business and I wish we would have produced better results on the field. We have a great group of players and a staff that is committed to this University and this football program. They have handled themselves with class and I expect them to continue to do so. "As I've said many times, life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond." The Gators didn't respond well enough, especially in their last two home games. The Gamecocks blocked a field goal and a punt in the final four minutes of regulation Saturday, special teams gaffes that turned what should have been a 10-point lead into a third consecutive home defeat. The previous loss was equally troubling for Foley. The Gators (5-4, 4-4 SEC) turned the ball over six times in a 42-13 drubbing against Missouri on homecoming last month. Chants of "Fire Muschamp" could be heard throughout an emptying Florida Field. Foley stuck with Muschamp after that one, saying the coach and the season would be evaluated "as it plays out." The Gators regrouped, benched turnover-prone quarterback Jeff Driskel and won consecutive games in dominating fashion, including a stunner against rival Georgia. They even had an outside shot at winning the SEC's muddled Eastern Division. But that ended against the Gamecocks, which entered the game with one of the country's worst defenses. "Hate to see it about coach Muschamp," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Sunday. "Will is a good person and a good coach. He's been a bit unlucky. We all, as coaches, complain about close losses and he's had his share of them. I was telling somebody that in the four meetings we've had with his team, we've not scored more than 20 points in regulation, but we've won three out of four somehow." Spurrier also made it clear he has no intentions of returning to his alma mater, where he won the 1966 Heisman Trophy, spent 12 years (1990-2001) coaching and led the Gators to the 1996 national title. "I've already had my run at Florida," Spurrier said. "They need to hire a coach that hopefully will be there 10 years." Florida fell to 17-8 under Muschamp at home, where Spurrier (68-5) and fellow former coach Urban Meyer (36-5) dropped a combined 10 games in 18 seasons. Florida fans expected and demanded better results. The former head-coach-in-waiting at Texas, Muschamp was Foley's pick to replace Meyer after he stepped down at the end of the 2010 season. Foley extended Muschamp's contract twice and gave him a raise. Because of those shows of good faith, Florida owes Muschamp more than $6 million for the final three years left on his deal. Paying off the rest of the coaching staff could cost about another $2 million. It's unclear how long it will take for Foley to find a replacement. But the hire likely will be someone with head-coaching experience who comes from an offensive background. After all, the last two defensive guys with no head-coaching experience Foley hired - Muschamp and former coach Ron Zook - didn't pan out. Muschamp hired Charlie Weis, Brent Pease and Kurt Roper to run the offense but all failed to impress a following that had grown accustomed to seeing points a plenty under Spurrier and Meyer. The Gators finished 105th, 103rd and 113th in total offense during Muschamp's first three seasons. They rank 88th this year through nine games. Players were told of the decision during a team meeting Sunday and quickly reacted via social media. "I'm hurt man," offensive tackle Rod Johnson posted on his Twitter feed. "Great coach but an even better person," kicker Frankie Velez tweeted. "I'm thankful everyday for the opportunity coach Muschamp gave me. Sad day for Florida." Sun, 16 Nov 2014 20:39:00 +0000
Harvick wins Homestead to claim 1st championship
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) There was no trick to Kevin Harvick's first Sprint Cup championship. Competing for the title against three other drivers, he seized his opportunity with a relentless dash through the field in the closing laps of the season finale. It was exactly what NASCAR was looking for when it revamped its playoff format this year to try to force drivers to win races. Harvick picked off car after car, and passed two other title contenders on a series of restarts as he aggressively chased both the victory and the title Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His desperate drive from 12th to first over the final 15 laps gave Harvick the championship over Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano. All four were determined to claim their first career title, and all four raced to win - because winning, it turned out, mattered in this Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. "If you want to win the championship, you're going to have to figure out how to win races," Harvick said. "In the end, that's what it came down to, was winning the race to win the championship. It all worked out." The four drivers all found themselves racing each other at the front of the field after the sun went down on the 400-mile race. It was Hamlin, the Charlotte Bobcats season-ticket holder who had Michael Jordan cheering from his pit, who seemed to have the race in control until a caution with 20 laps to go. All four teams were forced to make tough strategy decisions that ultimately decided their fate. Joe Gibbs Racing decided not to pit Hamlin, which moved him to second on the restart. Richard Childress Racing gave Ryan Newman two tires, while Harvick crew chief Rodney Childers made the risky call for four tires. Team Penske also had planned to give Joey Logano four tires, but a problem with the jack destroyed Logano's chances and he plummeted from sixth to 21st, ending his championship bid. Harvick restarted 12th with 15 laps to go and not much time to pick his way through traffic. As Hamlin passed leader Jeff Gordon on the restart, Harvick shot past four cars to move to seventh. "The seas kind of parted down the backstretch and we were able to get three or four cars or six, I guess, or five. You've got a very short time to do it," he said. "You had all the championship guys show up at the front of the pack. I was just going to hold the pedal down and hope for the best." Then came another caution, and Hamlin, on old tires, knew he was in trouble. Harvick, on the four fresh tires, rocketed through the middle on the restart, dicing his way through traffic to pick up another four spots and move into second. "I loved our chances, but they weren't there at the end," Hamlin said. "Strategy is part of winning, and the strategy for us didn't work out with the cautions." Harvick got by Hamlin, then Newman passed Hamlin for second and the championship became a battle of drivers who had essentially swapped seats this year. There was one more caution, forcing Harvick to nail one final restart with three laps remaining, and he eased his way ahead of Newman on his way to the win. The victory capped a magical first season at Stewart-Haas Racing, where Harvick moved this year after 13 seasons with Richard Childress that failed to produce a championship. Harvick, who had to win last week at Phoenix just to advance into Sunday's final four, wrapped up his third victory of this Chase and fifth of the season. He leaned this week on team co-owner Tony Stewart, a three-time champion, and Jimmie Johnson, the six-time champion who moved from California to North Carolina to chase a career in NASCAR about the same time as Harvick made the move east. "Been trying for 13 years," an emotional Harvick said. "This week ate me up. If it wasn't for Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart, I would have been in bad trouble this week. Those guys really helped me get through the week. After every practice, Jimmie was in there, and in our team debriefs Tony was constantly telling me just to go race and that it's just another race." Stewart shared an emotional hug with Harvick, and then beamed during the celebration. "That's about as emotional as you can get, to have one of your greatest friends go out in one of your race cars and win a championship in the toughest series in the country," Stewart said. Newman, winless on the season, finished second. Hamlin faded to seventh and Logano was a distant 16th. Harvick's wife, DeLana, sobbed on the pit stand and buried her head in her hands when Harvick crossed the finish line. She hugged Childers, who dabbed his eyes, before she made it down to the victory celebration. She met Stewart, who had retired from the race earlier with a car problem and was in street clothes, for an embrace and kiss before holding her son for the victory celebration. Harvick hugged Childers and showered his jubilant crew with Budweiser, the beer company that followed him this year from Richard Childress Racing to Stewart-Haas. Harvick spoke with a catch in his voice, trying to compose himself when it was his turn to hold 2-year-old Keelan. Stewart threw his arms around Harvick and the close friends and teammates held each other tight for several moments. It was Stewart who in 2012 convinced Harvick that if he left RCR when his contract expired at the end of 2013, he could help Harvick win his first title. Stewart, co-owner Gene Haas, and Childers, who left Michael Waltrip Racing for the chance to build Harvick's team, delivered. "They gave us all the resources we needed," Harvick said. "We never talked about money, we talked about building a team. It was just go get what you need." For Stewart, it took the sting off his 15-year winning streak coming to a close Sunday. "It doesn't make up for a bad year," Stewart said. "I mean, I've had a terrible year. But this makes the end of November great." Sun, 16 Nov 2014 23:54:00 +0000
Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout win MVP awards
NEW YORK (AP) For once, Clayton Kershaw was glad to see a long shutout streak end. Kershaw became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP award since Bob Gibson in 1968, coasting to an easy victory Thursday. "A little bit of shock, honestly," the Dodgers ace said on a conference call. "I guess I never really anticipated to win that." A day after unanimously taking the NL Cy Young Award, Kershaw completed a Los Angeles sweep. A little earlier, Angels outfielder Mike Trout was a unanimous pick for the AL MVP. Trout had been blanked in his bid the past two years, finishing second both times to Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera. The 23-year-old Trout was the youngest unanimous MVP pick in major league history. "Just anxious throughout the day," Trout said of the waiting period. "I knew the experience I had the last two years. It helped me with it." Trout, the MVP of the All-Star game in July, and Kershaw both led their teams to West division titles. In August, they finally faced each in a regular-season game - Trout singled, doubled and struck out looking at Dodger Stadium. Someday, they hope to meet in October. "I think in the future we're going to contend for the World Series, year in and year out," Kershaw said. To do that, they want to improve in the playoffs. Kershaw went 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA against St. Louis in the Division Series, leaving him 1-5 with a 5.12 ERA in the postseason. The MVP and Cy Young prizes don't "take the sting away of what happened in the playoffs," Kershaw said. Trout went 1 for 12 in a three-game sweep by Kansas City in his first playoff try. "It's tough to do. You have all these expectations, you want to do so good," he said. The awards voting was completed by the end of the regular season. Kershaw breezed past Miami bopper Giancarlo Stanton and Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen to become Most Valuable Player. While Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander won the AL MVP in 2011, no one on the NL side had done it for nearly a half-century. There was plenty of everyday player-vs.-pitcher MVP debate before this announcement. Kershaw had acknowledged "there are so many people out there who don't think a pitcher should win." But the 26-year-old lefty again dominated the hitters - Kershaw led the majors in wins and ERA while going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA and throwing a no-hitter. Kershaw got 18 of 30 first-place votes and 355 points in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He drew nine second-place votes, one third and pair of fourths. "To be a pitcher and win the MVP, it's pretty awesome," he said. Stanton got eight first-place ballots and 298 points. He led the NL with 37 homers and was second with 105 RBIs, and missed the last 17 games for the fourth-place Marlins after being hit in the face by a fastball. McCutchen got four firsts and 271 points in his bid to win the award for the second straight year. He hit .314 with 25 home runs and 83 RBIs for the wild-card Pirates. Six AL pitchers have won the MVP since Gibson took it for the Cardinals. Before Gibson, seven pitchers had won the NL MVP, a list that includes Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax, Carl Hubbell and Dizzy Dean. The AL MVP has been won 12 times by pitchers, starting when it was first presented in 1931 to Lefty Grove. Kershaw won the major league season opener in Australia on March 22, then missed more than a month when a strained upper back put him on the disabled list. Featuring sharp breaking pitches, Kershaw came back to win his second straight NL Cy Young and third in four years. Kershaw led the big leagues in complete games and was best among starters in strikeouts per nine innings and WHIP (walks plus hits per inning). The four-time All-Star struck out 239 in 198 1-3 innings. On June 18, he threw the first no-hitter of his career, at Dodger Stadium against Colorado. Trout received all 30 first-place votes and 420 points. Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez was second with 229 points and Cleveland outfielder Michael Brantley third with 185. Trout hit .287 and set career highs in home runs (36) and RBIs (111) while leading the major leagues in runs with 115 and extra-base hits with 84. In his third full season, he matched his bests in doubles (39) and triple (nine). "The power's definitely up," he said. "Getting a little older and a little stronger." Other numbers also changed. He led the AL with 184 strikeouts and his stolen bases dropped to 16. Trout was a unanimous pick as the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year and was second in MVP voting to Cabrera in both of his first two full seasons, 81 points back in 2012 and 103 points behind last year. Trout is the fifth-youngest MVP, STATS said. Vida Blue (1971), Johnny Bench (1970) and Stan Musial (1943) were 22 and Cal Ripken Jr. (1983) was a younger 23. Kershaw and Trout won the last of baseball's major postseason awards. Just in time, too. Pitchers and catchers are due at spring training in only 98 days. Fri, 14 Nov 2014 06:13:00 +0000
Silver: Bring sports gambling into the sunlight
NEW YORK (AP) NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says it's time for a new approach to betting on sports. In an op-ed article for The New York Times published online on Thursday, Silver says fans should have a safe and legal way to gamble on professional games. He suggests a federal framework that allows states to legalize sports betting. He says new regulations would help prevent underage betting while educating those with a gambling problem about how to bet responsibly. Sports leagues have long opposed gambling on games, claiming it creates incentives for game-fixing. It is currently only legal in Nevada; New Jersey is moving toward legalization - against the opposition of all four major pro sports leagues. Silver says new laws would have to protect the integrity of the sports. Fri, 14 Nov 2014 03:38:00 +0000
Kershaw, Kluber win Cy Young Awards
NEW YORK -- Los Angeles Dodgers aceClayton Kershawwas a unanimous choice for his third NL Cy Young Award, and Cleveland'sCorey Kluberedged Seattle'sFelix Hernandezto win the AL honor for the first time. Kershaw led the majors in victories and ERA and threw a no-hitter, going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA for the NL West champions. Now, the big question: Is he the Most Valuable Player, too? The 26-year-old lefty with a wicked curveball will find out Thursday if he's the first NL pitcher to sweep the MVP and Cy Young honors since Bob Gibson in 1968. As expected, Kershaw earned the pitching prize for the second year in a row, getting all 30 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced Wednesday. "Pretty cool," Kershaw said after the MLB Network telecast. Johnny Cuetoof Cincinnati was second with 112 points, followed byAdam Wainwrightof St. Louis (97) and World Series MVPMadison Bumgarnerof San Francisco (28). "As far as the regular season is concerned, it was a ton of fun," Kershaw said. Voting was completed before the start of the postseason. Kershaw went 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA in a Division Series loss to St. Louis, leaving him at 1-5 with a 5.12 ERA in his postseason career. Kluber received 17 of 30 first-place votes and 169 points, while King Felix got 13 firsts and 159 points.Chris Saleof the Chicago White Sox was third with 78 points. "I think I'm definitely surprised," he said. His plans after the announcement were far from flashy. "Probably go home and give my daughters a bath," he said. A 28-year-old right-hander, Kluber went 18-9 to tie for the AL lead in wins. He had a 2.44 ERA in his first full major league season and 269 strikeouts, two behind league leaderDavid Price. Kluber pitched consecutive 14-strikeout games in September, the first to accomplish the feat since Arizona's Randy Johnson in 2004. He became Cleveland's fourth Cy Young winner, joining Gaylord Perry (1972),CC Sabathia(2007) andCliff Lee(2008). Hernandez, who won the AL award in 2010, went 15-6 with a 2.44 ERA. He struck out 248 in 236 innings. From the start, Kershaw was headed toward his third Cy Young in four seasons. He won the major league season opener in Australia on March 22, then a strained upper back put him on the disabled list for the first time in his seven-year career. Once he returned, he was nearly unbeatable - and kept looking more and more like his friend, Dodgers Hall of Fame lefty Sandy Koufax. Kershaw joined Koufax as one of nine pitchers with at least three Cy Youngs. Roger Clemens leads the list with seven. The previous pitcher with a unanimous win was Detroit'sJustin Verlander, who took the AL Cy Young and MVP in 2011. A year earlier, Philadelphia's Roy Halladay unanimously won the NL Cy Young. Verlander is among six AL pitchers to take the Cy Young and MVP since Gibson's NL sweep nearly a half-century ago. Kershaw became the first pitcher to lead the majors in ERA for four straight years. He topped baseball this season in complete games and was best among starters in strikeouts per nine innings and WHIP (walks plus hits per inning). He struck out 239 in 198 1-3 innings, three behind NL co-leaders Stephen Strasburg and Cueto. Kershaw's crowning achievement was the first no-hitter of his career, at Dodger Stadium against Colorado on June 18. Soon after, he was picked as an All-Star for the fourth time in a row. Kershaw came within one vote of being unanimous last year.Tim Lincecumhad been the last NL pitcher to win back-to-back Cys, in 2008-09 for the Giants. The Cy Young was first awarded in 1956. Up through the 1966 season, there was only one selection from both leagues. Kershaw earned a $1 million bonus, while Wainwright gets $500,000, Cueto $75,000 and Bumgarner $25,000. Kluber gets a $10,000 bonus, while Sale receives $80,000 and gets a $1.5 million boost in his 2019 team option to $15 million. Kluber played in college at Stetson, leaving one season beforeJacob deGromarrived. On Monday, deGrom was chosen NL Rookie of the Year. Thu, 13 Nov 2014 00:18:05 +0000
Powered by: YouSeeMore © The Library Corporation (TLC)