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Sports
News provided by MSNBC
Jets announce trade for receiver Percy Harvin

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The New York Jets announced Saturday they have acquired wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Seattle Seahawks for a conditional draft pick. Making official a trade that was reported Friday, the Jets get a star from last season's Super Bowl but a player who is injury prone. Harvin brings versatility and game-breaking skills to the Jets, who have lost their last six games to fall to 1-6. New York released receiver David Nelson to make room for Harvin. General manager John Idzik called Harvin a "dynamic player who has been productive on offense and special teams." Seahawks general manager John Schneider noted Harvin's contributions to the Super Bowl and called the decision to trade him "extremely difficult." "We are constantly evaluating our team and believe at this time that this is in our best interest to move the team forward," Schneider said. The 26-year-old receiver has played in 60 games with only 47 career starts since being a first-round pick by Minnesota in 2009. He was traded to the Seahawks in 2013 for a 2013 first-round and seventh-round draft choice and a 2014 third-rounder. He appeared in just one regular-season game in 2013 because of hip surgery. But Harvin ran back the second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown in Seattle's 43-8 rout of Denver in the Super Bowl. Harvin has battled a thigh injury and was listed as questionable for the Seahawks' game at St. Louis this weekend before the trade was completed. The Seahawks have tried to find ways to use him - runner, receiver and special teams - but the injury woes slowed their plans. This season, Harvin has 22 receptions for 133 yards, with 12 of those catches coming behind the line of scrimmage. He has only one catch on a ball thrown more than 10 yards, according to STATS. Harvin's average of 6 yards per catch is last among all wide receivers in the NFL averaging at least two receptions a game. He also has 11 runs for 92 yards and a touchdown, and 12 kickoff returns for 283 yards. New York's offense has struggled. Harvin figures to team with Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley as the Jets' main weapons in a so-far weak passing game with Geno Smith at quarterback. As a rookie, he made the Pro Bowl and the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Harvin's best season was 2011, with 87 receptions for 967 yards and six TDs. He also rushed for 345 yards and two scores, and averaged 32.5 yards per kickoff return. --- AP Sports Writer Dennis Waszak Jr. contributed to this report. --- AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Sat, 18 Oct 2014 17:20:00 +0000
No. 2 Florida St rallies past No. 5 Irish, 31-27

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Jameis Winston prevailed after another week of controversy and threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 2 Florida State to 31-27 win over No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday. The Seminoles (7-0, 5-0 ACC) used a second-half comeback with the season on the line to topple the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame (6-1) is the last ranked team FSU's schedule and the win may be its last chance to make a decisive impression on the College Football Playoff selection committee. Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns, but Winston won the duel in the second half as he completed his first 13 passes against a defense that had Florida State flustered for the first 30 minutes. The Irish moved to the 2-yard line on the final drive, but an offensive pass interference call killed the drive. Florida State said this week it was investigating whether Winston received benefits for autographs being sold online.

Sun, 19 Oct 2014 04:08:00 +0000
No. 7 Alabama steamrolls No. 21 Texas A&M 59-0

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Blake Sims passed for 268 yards and three touchdowns and scored on a 43-yard run while leading No. 7 Alabama to 35 second-quarter points and a 59-0 pummeling of No. 21 Texas A&M on Saturday. The Crimson Tide (6-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) shut down the nation's No. 4 offense and dominated a game that had produced two straight thrillers. Led by Sims, T.J. Yeldon and Amari Cooper, Alabama outgained the Aggies 602-172. Texas A&M (5-3, 2-3) has lost its past three games, all to teams now ranked in the top 10. Alabama set a school record for most points in a quarter and matched the second-most scored in a half while racing to a 45-0 halftime lead. Yeldon had 114 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, all in the first half. Cooper gained 140 yards on eight catches with a pair of touchdowns.

Sat, 18 Oct 2014 23:05:00 +0000
Bumgarner gets nod for Giants World Series opener

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The reliable southpaw is getting the ball for another important Game 1. Left-hander Madison Bumgarner will pitch the World Series opener for the San Francisco Giants at Kansas City on Tuesday. Manager Bruce Bochy made the expected announcement Saturday as his team worked out under sunny skies, one day before traveling. Bumgarner, an 18-game winner, was voted NL Championship Series MVP as the Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals in five games. Despite MadBum's high innings, Bochy wasn't worried about the 18-game winner. Bumgarner didn't get a decision in the pennant clincher against the Cardinals on Thursday night. "I think I would've insulted him if I checked with him," Bochy said. "He's a big, strong guy. His last game I thought he had great stuff. It's not like he's thrown 120-130 pitches. His workload has been under control." Bochy is keeping his rotation the same as the first two rounds of the postseason. Right-hander Jake Peavy will pitch Game 2 on Wednesday, followed by 39-year-old right-hander Tim Hudson in his World Series debut Thursday at AT&T Park and then righty Ryan Vogelsong. Yusmeiro Petit, who has twice provided a huge lift as a long man, will stay in his role as Bochy stuck with Vogelsong in the rotation. "Petit in the job he's done in that role that we've had him in, you go back to Washington and without Petit it's hard to say what would have happened," Bochy said. "In St. Louis he went out there and gave us three big innings. He's a great swingman. Vogey, he threw a great game against Washington. He had a little bit of a hiccup but no, I didn't think about changing." Unused two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum will make the roster. Bochy didn't expect to make any changes from the 25 players used in the NLCS. Lincecum pitched the Game 5 World Series clincher at Texas in 2010, then held a key role as a reliever in the 2012 championship run. Lincecum pitched his second no-hitter June 25 against San Diego but hasn't pitched since Sept. 28. "I've been thinking about Timmy, trust me," Bochy said. "Timmy's done a lot for us, and we know that." Lincecum was undergoing treatment for a a problem that developed overnight. "Timmy's got a stiff neck right now but we talked about him throwing to hitters today," Bochy said. "He'll be back tomorrow, but he's still on the roster. I don't think it's serious. ... I'm pretty sure at some point he'll be in the game." Bochy didn't announce a designated hitter, though Michael Morse is the obvious candidate. He has been unable to play left field and hasn't started since late August because of an oblique injury, but hit a tying pinch homer in the 6-3 Game 5 NLCS win. "I haven't got the order set, DH," Bochy said. "Right now we don't have any plans to change our roster. Now that doesn't mean we can't change our mind as we look at this further."

Sat, 18 Oct 2014 22:31:00 +0000
West Virginia surprises No. 4 Baylor 41-27

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Clint Trickett threw three touchdown passes and West Virginia surprised sloppy No. 4 Baylor 41-27 Saturday. The Mountaineers (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) earned their first win over a top five opponent since the Fiesta Bowl after the 2007 season. West Virginia sacked Baylor's Bryce Petty four times and limited the Bears to one touchdown after halftime. Baylor was penalized 18 times for a Big 12-record 215 yards. Seven were for pass interference. Trickett went 23 of 35 for 322 yards, his eighth straight 300-yard game going back to last season. Baylor (6-1, 3-1) couldn't overcome a double-digit deficit as it did in a 61-58 victory against TCU last week.

Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:16:00 +0000
No. 12 TCU routs No. 15 Oklahoma State 42-9

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Trevone Boykin threw for a career-high 410 yards with three touchdowns, two on long plays to Josh Doctson in the first quarter, and No. 12 TCU emphatically bounced back with a 42-9 victory over No. 15 Oklahoma State on Saturday. Doctson had seven catches for 225 yards, a yard short of TCU's school record even with the scores of 77 and 84 yards. B.J. Catalon ran for 102 yards and two scores for the Horned Frogs (5-1, 2-1 Big 12). Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1), which had won five in a row, was outgained 676 to 258 and held without a touchdown for the first time since a 27-0 loss to Oklahoma in the 2009 regular season finale. TCU quickly erased any notion of a hangover effect from its wild 61-58 loss at Baylor a week earlier, jumping ahead 21-3 on Doctson's early touchdowns.

Sat, 18 Oct 2014 23:35:00 +0000
World Series: Seasoned Giants vs fresh Royals

Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and the go-go-go Kansas City Royals played perfect ball to zip through the playoffs. Plus, they recently flattened Buster Posey and his Giants. So how come this bunch that's rapidly become a fan favorite all across the country isn't the favorite against San Francisco in the World Series? "When I look at the Royals, I see a team on a terrific run. There was magic on their side, where everything they did went absolutely right," said Las Vegas oddsmaker Johnny Avello, head of the sports book at the Wynn. "But I don't get into the `darling' stuff," he said Friday. "I have to encompass everything and figure out who's the better team, and that's the Giants." We'll see what's next in this tight, tense postseason starting Tuesday night when the seasoned Giants visit the fresh Royals at Kauffman Stadium. A pair of teams with dominant bullpens, the talent to make tremendous catches and a touch for grinding out key runs. Both of them wild-card teams, too. Of course, come this late in October, no one is really a wild card anymore. Reigning NL Championship Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, former World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval and Giants manager Bruce Bochy are aiming for their third ring in five seasons. At 39, Tim Hudson is headed with them, going to his first World Series. A four-time All-Star with 214 wins, he left his longtime home in Atlanta and signed with the Giants last November. Hudson was swayed by an intangible that he'd seen from the other side - San Francisco's knack for playing especially well at this time of year. "They know how to win when it matters. There's something different whenever this team gets in the playoffs. They know what buttons to push. They know what guys need to do in certain situations. That's all that matters," Hudson said. "That's why I'm playing, that's why I'm here, that's why I decided to come to the Giants," he said. Already 8-0 this postseason, the Royals are back in the Series for the first time since George Brett and Bret Saberhagen helped them win it all in 1985. There were a lot of lean years in the interim. Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt, the winning pitcher in the NLCS clincher Thursday night against the Cardinals, played for Kansas City from 2002-06 - the Royals lost 100 games in three of those seasons. "Well, I'm sure there's a lot of excitement," Affeldt said. "There's a lot of people that have been fans for a long time in that area and been waiting to see this since 1985." "When I played there, I think they thought they were overdue then, and that was, I don't know, seven, eight years ago," he said. "There's going to be some energy in that stadium. And they have remodeled it ... it's pretty impressive to see the amount of blue in these seats during those games." Affeldt and the Giants got a close-up at these Royals in August, getting swept in a three-game series at Kansas City. Gordon homered twice in the series, outfielder Nori Aoki threw out two runners in an inning, the Royals stole seven bases in a game and they beat Bumgarner, Hudson and Tim Lincecum. "It doesn't matter what it was," Royals manager Ned Yost said Friday. "This is a whole different ballgame now. This is the World Series. This isn't a three-game series in August." Yost, by the way, grew up in the Bay Area rooting for the Giants. Even though they met two months ago, there's not a lot of history between the teams. They faced each other only twice in spring training in Arizona, and the Royals haven't played in San Francisco since 2005, back when Barry Bonds was the biggest name in town. Closer Greg Holland, Mike Moustakas and the Royals will be at AT&T Park for Game 3 on Friday night. It was 25 years ago that an earthquake minutes before Game 3 rattled Candlestick Park and postponed the World Series between the Giants and Oakland Athletics. The Series shift means no designated hitter in the NL park, costing Royals DH Billy Butler a spot. Yost spent most of his career in NL, coaching in Atlanta and managing in Milwaukee. "It's a fun style. I've never really managed two styles in one series," Yost said. "It's a different type. There are a lot more things that are involved."

Sat, 18 Oct 2014 04:30:00 +0000
Friedman: Dodgers to hire GM, keep Mattingly

LOS ANGELES (AP) In the middle of Andrew Friedman's introduction as the Los Angeles Dodgers' president of baseball operations, a question was asked from a corner of the room. "Are you looking to acquire a younger, faster, stronger first baseman?" someone queried. Friedman swiveled his head to see who was speaking, and then he laughed. The question came from incumbent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who lives in Southern California during the offseason. Gonzalez can count on other outsiders being brought in under Friedman, who plans to hire a new general manager and to retain Don Mattingly as manager. Friedman was introduced at Dodger Stadium on Friday, and he said he's having conversations about hiring a GM to work under him but offered no timetable. Ned Colletti was shifted from the GM job to senior adviser to team president and CEO Stan Kasten. A 37-year-old former Wall Street analyst, Friedman was hired this week from the Tampa Bay Rays, where he guided the team to four postseason appearances, including division in titles in 2008 and 2010. Friedman said has spoken twice with Mattingly, and they plan to meet next week. He said Mattingly will "definitely" be the manager next season and he tamped down speculation that close friend, Rays manager Joe Maddon, would follow him to Los Angeles. "I'm going into it with the mindset that we're going to work with Donnie for a long time," Friedman said. "We're very aligned on a lot of things philosophically." Mattingly has two seasons remaining in his three-year deal, while Maddon has one year left in his contract. In Tampa Bay, Friedman oversaw one of the major leagues' lowest payrolls. With the Dodgers, he will have baseball's highest payroll at his disposal, one that rose to a record $256 million this year. "It's obviously different," he said. "Our focus is going to be on constructing the best team we possibly can. There are things that will make much more sense here than in other markets." Friedman was short on specifics, and he repeatedly said it was premature to comment on such things as GM, farm director, coaches and the roster, including whether free-agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez would be given a $15.3 million qualifying offer. Friedman opened his comments by reading from several prepared pages. "I've been busting him a little bit for having to write a speech. It's not something we're used to, but he wanted to make his points," Kasten said. "I think he did pretty well." Friedman name-checked some of his famous predecessors in the job, including Buzzy Bavasi and Branch Rickey, while also saluting such former Dodger greats as Sandy Koufax, Tom Lasorda and Don Newcombe, who was on hand. He also thanked the Rays and Colletti. "It feels great to be a Dodger today," Friedman said, smiling. "I fully recognize the magnitude of the job ahead of me." The Dodgers won 94 games and the NL West title but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs in Colletti's last two seasons as GM. They were beaten in four games in the NL Division Series, a year after losing in six games in the NL Championship Series. "I have a ton of personal and professional respect for Ned," Friedman said. "He's got a lot of institutional knowledge. I'd be foolish not to tap into it." Friedman repeatedly used the words "process," "collaboration" and "information is king" in describing his approach to the job. "All I care about is getting more decisions right than wrong," he said. Friedman is known for his use of analytics, and he acknowledged those will blend with traditional scouting in building the roster. "We do a lot of digging on people we're going to acquire," he said. "People are going to know exactly what we're thinking."

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 22:56:00 +0000
New advisers say NFL is serious about reform

CHICAGO (AP) Beth E. Richie is a professor and a college administrator. She has written articles and books about feminism, battered women and the prison system, and provided training for police, judges and other groups. So when the NFL called to ask for help with its domestic conduct policy, Richie wanted to make sure it was more serious than window dressing. "The players and the teams are one thing that almost could be easily managed," said Richie, the director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at Illinois-Chicago. "I wanted to know are they interested in the fan base, the sponsoring organizations, the other corporate interests? "We almost haven't had a moment like this in the work to end violence when such power, such attention, such resources could go to prevention, changing culture, bystander education, those kinds of things." Intrigued by the possibilities, Richie joined a high-profile effort that is hoping to have an impact on domestic violence beyond the sports world. Richie is one of five senior advisers recently hired by the NFL to help shape the league's policy on abuse. Any action by the league after the Ray Rice scandal will be closely watched by the other sports. But the NFL's new group of advisers believes the process also could have a more far-reaching impact. "I think that they have the opportunity to model some cutting-edge policies and protocols or guidelines, and I'm excited at the opportunity for that reach to go beyond just the NFL, but into all of corporate America," said Jane Randel, a co-founder of No More, a campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault. Randel and the other advisers had a hand in a 40-minute educational presentation at last week's NFL meetings in New York. The presentation focused on the dangers of spousal abuse, child abuse, sexual assault and other domestic violence topics. Richie praised the NFL owners for their attentiveness, and Randel said it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Richie and Randel said the owners seemed serious. "You can see what people in the room are doing, and they were watching and engaged and taking notes and doing all the things that you would want them to do," she said, "because these things really only work if they start from the top." Randel's background is in cause marketing and corporate communications. She helped start No More in 2009 in an effort to raise awareness and money for organizations working to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Lisa Friel, another senior adviser, was the head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney's Office for more than a decade, and Rita Smith is the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Tony Porter is a co-founder of A Call to Men, an organization dedicated to ending violence against women. "The first thing that we're going to look at is the league's personal conduct policy and how we can educate people about that," Friel said at the owners' meetings. "In a perfect world, the hope is you never have to use the disciplinary end of that policy, right? That you have your standards of behavior, you educate people about them and they don't violate your policy. That's what we're hoping to do." Sports have been a part of Richie's family life for a long time. She learned more about the business and organizational side of sports when her sister Laurel became president of the WNBA in 2011. Laurel Richie said in an email to The Associated Press that the NFL made a smart choice in asking Beth for help. "As a researcher, service provider, and advocate, my sister is one of the nation's leading experts on domestic violence and sexual assault in the African-American community," she wrote. Beth E. Richie was the last addition to the NFL panel, and her appointment was announced after the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a leading black women's group criticized the league for not including any African-American women in the group of consultants. It was clear the NFL was "looking for someone to fill that particular niche of race and community accountability," Richie said. The league is mulling over when to act in cases of domestic violence and sexual assault, particularly when criminal cases drag on. "I emphasize really, when possible, alternatives to only relying on the criminal legal system because in black communities that's been such a difficult tension," Richie said. "My instinct has always been to try to find ways that communities can hold people accountable, and only rely on the criminal justice system when communities can't hold people accountable." --- AP Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg and AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner in New York contributed to this report. --- Online: No More: http://nomore.org National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: www.ncadv.org A Call to Men: www.acalltomen.org --- AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL --- Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:05:00 +0000
Baseball lifer Banister home as Rangers manager

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Jeff Banister is a baseball lifer who calls Texas home. He grew up there and played his entire amateur career there before getting drafted. Now the former catcher who got a pinch-hit single in his only major league at-bat, who was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down after a home-plate collision in junior college and who overcame bone cancer with multiple surgeries in high school is a big-league manager in the Lone Star State. Banister was introduced Friday as the new manager of the Texas Rangers after 29 years in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as a player, coach and instructor at all levels. "The best opportunities to come along are the ones you're not looking for," Banister said. "Have I prepared myself for this opportunity? Yeah, from the day that I stopped playing until now, I've truly dreamed and wanted to and tried to. I got to a point in my life that I told myself that I wasn't going to chase it. If it happened, it happened." The 50-year-old Banister, who lives in the Houston area, was the bench coach the past four seasons for Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, whose only season as the Rangers' hitting coach was when they went to their first World Series in 2010. Banister's introduction came six weeks after manager Ron Washington's resignation for personal reasons. Texas gave Banister a three-year contract with an option for a fourth season. The injury-ravaged Rangers are coming off a 67-95 season, their worst since 1985, after reaching the World Series in 2010-2011 and becoming a trendy postseason pick each year. Banister got the job ahead of two other finalists, interim manager Tim Bogar and Cleveland Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash. Another of the eight candidates interviewed for the job was Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux, who Banister met with Friday morning. He has also spoken with Bogar, the Rangers first-year bench coach who went 14-8 as interim manager, and hitting coach Dave Magadan. He didn't get into specifics on plans for his staff. "It's a process that all of us are going through at this time," Banister said. "Out of respect for the process, I will just leave it that we have had some conversations." Banister was born in Oklahoma, but went to high school, junior college and college in Texas before getting drafted in the 25th round by the Pirates in 1986. The Rangers believe he is the first manager in club history to attend high school or college in the state. While in high school in 1980, Banister had seven operations on his left ankle and leg for bone cancer and an infection of the bone or bone marrow. The temporary paralysis happened while playing for Baytown Junior College in 1983. "The impact is I don't take any day for granted. When I wake up every morning and put my feet on the floor or I sit up in the bed, I thank God I have another day," said Banister, the son of two educators. "I understand perseverance, I understand what hard work means, that pain is one of those things we're given to let us know we're alive from time to time." Banister said much of his passion for the game stems from nights in a hospital bed when he couldn't get up, but could dream and think and challenge himself that he would play again. "It gave me joy in a time when there was no joy," he said. "That burning desire, that internal fire that burns inside of me to have success to pass on, to push forward, was melded a long time ago in a couple of different hospitals." His coaching career began as a player-coach with Double-A Carolina in 1993, and his first managerial job was in the New York-Penn League in 1994. He had a 299-330 record in five seasons as a minor league manager, before serving as field coordinator for the Pirates from 1999-2002 and then as the club's minor league field coordinator for eight years after that. In 515 games in Pittsburgh's minor league system from 1986-93, he was a .247 hitter. In his only major league appearance, he got a hit on July 23, 1991, and the most emotional he got Friday was when he was asked about that. "There are a group of people who prop you up and take care of you, try to motivate you on a daily basis - it's tough to be motivated," he said. "To be able to walk into a major league game when everybody told you that you couldn't, you shouldn't, you wouldn't ... now you get an opportunity to do it, it happens, you're on top of the mountain for one day, one moment in time and you carry those people with you, it's the best thank you that you can give. That's what it meant."

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 19:42:00 +0000