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September 28

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge hits 61st home run of season, tying Roger Maris' mark

TORONTO -- New York Yankees star Aaron Judge hit his 61st home run of the season Wednesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays, tying Roger Maris' American League record. It took Maris until Oct. 1, the final game of the 1961 season, to hit his 61st, which broke Babe Ruth's single-season mark of 60 home runs set in 1927. Judge did it Sept. 28, in Game No. 155 for New York. A day after the Yankees clinched the American League East title, Judge, batting leadoff as the designated hitter, took Toronto's Tim Mayza deep in the seventh inning with a runner on base. Judge -- who walked in his first at-bat, popped out in his second and grounded out in his third -- had gone seven games without a home run since managing a solo shot during New York's 6-0 homestand. He and the Yankees then headed to Toronto looking to make history at Rogers Centre. He went 1-for-3 with a single in the series opener Monday and walked four times in Tuesday's division clincher,...
September 28
September 28

Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre's charity donated to University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation while he pushed for state funds

Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre's charity, Favre 4 Hope, donated more than $130,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation from 2018 to 2020, according to tax records obtained by ESPN on Wednesday. During this same period, Favre was trying to raise money for a new volleyball stadium at the university, where he played football and his daughter was on the volleyball team. Funds for that stadium are under scrutiny in the largest public fraud case in Mississippi state history. Favre 4 Hope, whose mission statement says it provides support "for disadvantaged and disabled children and breast cancer patients," receives public donations. Tax records show that in 2018, the foundation gave the USM Athletic Foundation $60,000. Every other organization received $10,000. In 2019, the USM Athletic Foundation received $46,817. The next highest donation, to the Special Olympics of Mississippi, was $11,000. The next year, Favre 4 Hope donated $26,175 to the USM...
September 28
September 28

UFC closes off Saturday's card at Apex facility to media, public

The UFC has closed off Saturday's UFC Fight Night card at its Apex facility in Las Vegas to the public as well as the media. The company declined to provide a reason for the closure at the time of the announcement earlier this week, but UFC president Dana White said Tuesday that he just wanted to give the media "a night off." However, women's strawweight contender Mackenzie Dern, who is fighting in Saturday's main event, told reporters Wednesday that the reason behind the closure is Meta chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg. Speaking at a media day Wednesday in Las Vegas, Dern (12-2), who is scheduled to face China's Yan Xiaonan (15-3), provided her understanding that the closure is linked to Zuckerberg. "I know Mark Zuckerberg rented out the whole event," Dern said. "I know he'll be there, but I don't know if it's literally him, his wife or if he'll have friends -- some type of party. But from someone who wanted a main event with a crowd, [it's now] going to...
September 28
September 28

Outdoors community mourns ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson after death on mountain

"She broke ground and shattered expectations."
September 28
Hilaree Nelson, an epic ski mountaineer who made a career climbing the world's biggest peaks, died on Manaslu in Nepal in an avalanche.
September 28

Texas A&M Aggies land David Hicks, the No. 17 overall college football recruit in the ESPN 300

Texas A&M beat Oklahoma on the recruiting trail on Wednesday when ESPN 300 defensive lineman  David Hicks chose the Aggies over the Sooners. Hicks is the No. 17 prospect overall and the No. 3 recruit in the state of Texas. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound lineman from Katy, Texas, had originally cut his list to Alabama, Miami, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Texas A&M before committing. Ultimately, the Aggies came out on top and are adding one of the more highly sought defensive prospects in the class. "They have a really great coaching staff and I have a really great relationship with everyone on staff," Hicks told ESPN about Texas A&M. "They've been recruiting me since eighth grade and I can stay close to home." The Aggies had gotten off to a slow start in the 2022 cycle after signing the No. 1 ranked class in 2021. Prior to September, Jimbo Fisher and his staff had four ESPN 300 recruits. The staff has...
September 28
September 28

Los Angeles Chargers star LB Joey Bosa to have surgery, goes on IR

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa and left tackle Rashawn Slater were placed on injured reserve Wednesday. Bosa suffered a groin tear in the first quarter of Sunday's 38-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. "It's a tough loss for our defense," safety Derwin James Jr. said. "But it's on us to have his back and hold things down until he gets situated." Bosa, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, will undergo surgery, but coach Brandon Staley said it's anticipated that he will return this season. "It's going to be a ways, but we expect him to come back," Staley said. "He's optimistic and ready to attack it. He's in a really good frame of mind. It's never easy when you have an injury like that." The Chargers are 1-2 as they prepare for back-to-back road games at Houston (0-2-1) and Cleveland (2-1). In Bosa's absence, second-year pro Chris Rumph II and veteran linebacker Kyle Van Noy are expected to...
September 28
September 28

Zion Williamson looked 'amazing' and 'dominated' team scrimmage, says New Orleans Pelicans coach Willie Green

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Pelicans opened training camp on Tuesday with two practices, a morning session followed by one in the evening. By design, the morning session was lighter. The evening session had a scrimmage portion that was going to be the first intense 5-on-5 work for Zion Williamson with the team since May 2020. One would expect someone to have some rust in that situation, but Williamson isn't just any someone. "Z looked amazing," Pelicans coach Willie Green said on Wednesday afternoon. "His strength, his speed. He dominated the scrimmage pretty much." Williamson told reporters on Tuesday that he was excited for the 5-on-5 practice because as much as he could work out during the offseason, it was hard to simulate 5-on-5 work against highly talented players. "What stood out was his force more than anything," Green said. "He got down the floor quickly. When he caught the ball, he made quick decisions. Whether it was scoring, finding a teammate....
September 28
September 28

Los Angeles Chargers star LB Joey Bosa to have surgery, go on IR

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa will be placed on injured reserve, coach Brandon Staley said Wednesday. Bosa suffered a groin tear in the first quarter of last Sunday's 38-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher will undergo surgery, but Staley said it is anticipated that he will return this season. "It's going to be a ways, but we expect him to come back," Staley said. "He's optimistic and ready to attack it. He's in a really good frame of mind. It's never easy when you have an injury like that." In Bosa's absence, second-year pro Chris Rumph II and veteran linebacker Kyle Van Noy are expected to step in. The Bolts also claimed outside linebacker Derrek Tuszka off waivers to provide depth. Left tackle Rashawn Slater also will be placed on injured reserve, said Staley, who confirmed earlier this week that the second-year pro tore his left biceps tendon in the...
September 28
September 28

'Do you think I'm going to read the MRI?': Patriots' Bill Belichick stiff-arms queries on Mac Jones injury with 'day by day' refrain

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said injured quarterback Mac Jones wouldn't practice Wednesday but is "definitely making a lot of progress in the last 48 hours" -- and then turned to theater in a news conference that sparked memories of when he repeated "on to Cincinnati" eight years ago. Peppered with questions on the status of Jones, who sustained a high ankle sprain Sunday and is likely to miss multiple weeks, Belichick stiff-armed most of them with a smile and the same answer. Do you expect Jones to start on Sunday against the Packers? "Take it day by day," Belichick said. Is the plan for Jones to have a procedure to help his recovery? "Day by day. Day. By. Day," he said, notably pausing between the words. "That's the plan. Day. By. Day." Are the Patriots and Jones on the same page on how best to move forward? "I'm not really sure what the nature of the question is, but day by day he's getting better. We'll see how it goes. Day. By. Day." Does...
September 28
September 28

Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash lauds Ben Simmons' versatility as 'incredible playmaker'

NEW YORK -- Coach Steve Nash says he doesn't care if Ben Simmons "ever shoots a jump shot" for the Brooklyn Nets because of the versatility and unique skill set that he brings to the team. "Very unique," Nash said of Simmons after the second full practice of training camp on Wednesday. "That's what makes Ben great. That's why I don't care if he ever shoots a jump shot for the Brooklyn Nets. He's welcome to, but that is not what makes him special and not what we need. He's a great complement to our team, and he's an incredible basketball player because of his versatility." Simmons, who struggled to find consistency in his jump shot throughout his time with the Philadelphia 76ers, is trying to stay focused on a fresh beginning after missing all of last season while waiting for a trade out of Philadelphia and then dealing with rehab from back surgery as well as ongoing mental health issues. Simmons said he felt "amazing" after the team's second...
September 28
September 28

Minneapolis chosen as contingency site if Kansas City Chiefs-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game has to relocate because of Hurricane Ian

The NFL has selected U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis as the contingency site for Sunday night's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, league executive vice president Jeff Miller confirmed Wednesday. As of now, the game remains scheduled for Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The Buccaneers, however, have evacuated the area because of effects from Hurricane Ian's landfall. U.S Bank Stadium is available because the Vikings will be in London to play the New Orleans Saints. Miller offered no timetable or deadline for making a decision but pledged that the league will not do anything to "negatively impact public safety efforts in the affected areas." He did say that if the game is moved, it would be played Sunday night rather than a day or two later. "This is only a contingency," Miller said, "but we will remain nimble and adaptable." The Buccaneers relocated their players, coaches and some of their families to the South Florida...
September 28
September 28

Minneapolis chosen as contingency site if Kansas City Chiefs-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game has to relocate due to Hurricane Ian

The NFL has selected U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis as the contingency site for Sunday night's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, league executive vice president Jeff Miller confirmed Wednesday. As of now, the game remains scheduled for Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The Buccaneers, however, have evacuated the area due to effects from Hurricane Ian's landfall. U.S Bank Stadium is available because the Vikings will be in London to play the New Orleans Saints. Miller offered no timetable or deadline for making a decision but pledged that the league will not do anything to "negatively impact public safety efforts in the affected areas." He did say that if the game is moved, it would be played Sunday night, rather than a day or two later. "This is only a contingency," Miller said, "but we will remain nimble and adaptable." The Buccaneers relocated their players, coaches and some of their families to the South Florida...
September 28
September 28

Forbes: LA Clippers' Steve Ballmer richest owner in pro sports

The LA Clippers finished ninth in the Western Conference last season and ended their season by losing twice in the NBA play-in tournament, but their owner is staying on top. For the eighth consecutive year, Steve Ballmer is ranked as the richest owner in professional sports, according to Forbes.  Ballmer, who was the CEO of Microsoft from 2000 to 2014, has a net worth estimated at $83 billion. Despite a drop of $13.5 billion due to Microsoft's stock valuation, Ballmer is also the eighth-richest person in the world according to the publication. He bought the Clippers in 2014 and has been the sports world's richest owner ever since. While a basketball owner is on top, the top 10 richest owners list is dominated by NFL owners. Rob Walton, who purchased the Denver Broncos in June for $4.65 billion, is No. 2 on the list. The Walmart heir is worth an estimated $56.7 billion. "The Broncos are the one sport franchise we would have considered buying,'' Walton ...
September 28
September 28

Cleveland Browns not ruling out Myles Garrett from playing Sunday after car crash

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns aren't ruling out Myles Garrett from playing Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons despite the injuries he suffered in a one-car crash Monday. The Browns' star pass-rusher suffered a shoulder sprain and a biceps strain as well as cuts and bruises after his vehicle went off the side of the road and flipped over before coming to a rest. Garrett was at home resting Wednesday, but Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said that Garrett is expected to be back in the Browns' training facility Thursday morning. "Very, very grateful that he's OK," coach Kevin Stefanski said before Wednesday's practice. Garrett, 26, was released from a Cleveland-area hospital later Monday night after the crash. The Browns said that Garrett has already cleared concussion protocol. "I wouldn't be surprised if he played, I know he probably wants to," safety John Johnson III said. "Personally, I think he should take the week off, take it...
September 28
September 28

Cleveland Browns not ruling out Myles Garrett from playing Sunday after car accident

BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns aren't ruling out Myles Garrett from playing Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, despite the injuries he suffered in a one-car crash Monday. The Browns star pass rusher suffered a shoulder sprain and a biceps strain as well as cuts and bruises after his vehicle went off the side of the road and flipped over before coming to a rest. Garrett was at home resting Wednesday, but Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said that Garrett is expected to be back in the Browns training facility Thursday morning. "Very, very grateful that he's OK," coach Kevin Stefanski said before Wednesday's practice. Garrett, 26, was released from a Cleveland-area hospital later Monday night after the accident. The Browns said that Garrett has already cleared concussion protocol. "I wouldn't be surprised if he played, I know he probably wants to," safety John Johnson III said. "Personally, I think he should take the week off, take it...
September 28
September 28

New Orleans Saints QB Jameis Winston says he plans to play Sunday after getting day off in London to rest injuries

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston said he intends to start Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings in London. "That's my plan," he said. Winston said the team held him out of practice at the London Irish Facility on Wednesday but he'll be back for Thursday's practice. "They told me I wasn't practicing. It wasn't my choice,'' Winston said. "I'm preparing like every week -- preparing to play.'' He had a "did not practice" designation on Wednesday after being listed as limited in Week 2 and Week 3 because of back and ankle injuries. "Really it's more just trying to rest and trying to make sure it's healthy," Saints coach Dennis Allen told reporters after practice. Backup quarterback Andy Dalton took the snaps in Winston's place like he did in the preseason when Winston had a foot sprain. Taysom Hill, who switched to tight end this season after primarily playing quarterback last season, was taking the backup snaps. Allen said there has been...
September 28
September 28

New York Jets QB Zach Wilson medically cleared, will start against Pittsburgh Steelers

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- After sitting out the first three games due to a preseason knee injury, quarterback Zach Wilson has been medically cleared and will start Sunday for the New York Jets, coach Robert Saleh announced Wednesday. Wilson, who practiced on a limited basis the past two weeks, is expected to take a full load of practice reps as he ramps up for his return -- a road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Saleh was optimistic this would be the outcome, pending a confirmation from Wilson's Los Angeles-based doctor. Saleh said Wilson will "absolutely" start, assuming he makes it through the week of practice. "He's very comfortable," Saleh said. "He's in a great mental state. Everyone is comfortable with where he's at physically." The former BYU star, drafted second overall in 2021, tore his meniscus and suffered a bone bruise on a noncontact play in the first preseason game. On Aug. 16, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in Los...
September 28
September 28

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James headlining new ownership group in Major League Pickleball

LeBron James and Maverick Carter's LRMR Ventures is headlining a new ownership group in Major League Pickleball. The group also includes investment firm SC Holdings, NBA champions Draymond Green and Kevin Love, the SpringHill Company CMO Paul Rivera, and Relevent Sports Group co-owner and CEO Daniel Sillman. "Having SC Holdings, LRMR Ventures, and their incredible group as owners and investors in Major League Pickleball is not just great for MLP, it's a watershed moment for pickleball in general," MLP founder Steve Kuhn said. Major League Pickleball is the first-of-its-kind professional team league in the United States. The league's expansion from 12 to 16 teams opened up the opportunity for James' group to invest in a new league showcasing elite professional talent. "Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country, building communities in cities and towns all over the world," Kuhn said. "This investment and the platform that this group provides will...
September 28
September 28

New Orleans Saints QB Jameis Winston gets day off in London to rest injuries, expected to practice Thursday

New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen said he doesn't think there's a concern regarding quarterback Jameis Winston's availability for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings in London. Allen said Winston got a rest day Wednesday and anticipates he'll practice Thursday after the Saints' starting quarterback was not seen by reporters during the open portion of practice at the London Irish facility. "Really it's more just trying to rest and trying to make sure it's healthy," Allen told reporters after practice. That was a change from last week, when Winston watched the open portion of Wednesday's practice at the Saints' facility in Metairie but did not participate. He is dealing with a transverse fracture in his back in addition to an ankle injury and has been listed as limited on the injury report since Week 2. Backup quarterback Andy Dalton took the snaps in Winston's place like he did in the preseason when Winston had a foot sprain. Taysom Hill, who...
September 28
September 28

The talent pool never dries up at TOC

Year after year the Arizona desert becomes a hotbed for high school hoops. Chandler, Ariz., and the surrounding area hosts the Nike Tournament of Champions and the pedigree of this event is as prestigious as any high school event in the country. From Maya Moore and Elena Delle Donne flirting with 40-point games, to the Paris twins, to the Waner sisters, top players seem to always bring their best performances to the event and this year's field should dazzle crowds just the same. Impact players come in many sizes and styles. The brackets are loaded with must-see players from the hyper-competitive Joe Smith Division all the way through the divisions named after colors. A look at the top players there are some that are simply big-time scorers. Those with a chance of putting up 30-plus points include Santa Margarita's (Calif.) Melissa Zornig. She went for 43 points on Dec. 11, in her team's 75-66 victory over San Clemente. Edison's (Huntington Beach,...
September 28
September 28

MLB discusses plans for New York Mets-Atlanta Braves series with Hurricane Ian looming

Major League Baseball is considering contingency plans for this weekend's crucial series in Atlanta between the Mets and Braves as Hurricane Ian slams Florida's Gulf Coast. The rapidly intensifying hurricane made landfall Wednesday afternoon in Florida, while parts of Georgia are expected to see flooding rains and some coastal surge into Saturday. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has preemptively declared an emergency, ordering 500 National Guard troops on standby to respond as needed. With the pivotal three-game series slated to start Friday at Truist Park, the National League East rivals and MLB have discussed several options, according to multiple reports, including a split doubleheader on Sunday. The teams have a mutual day off Thursday, but MLB is not considering starting the series a day early, according to MLB.com. Relocating the games to a neutral site also was not a serious consideration as of Wednesday morning, according to MLB.com. Mets manager Buck Showalter...
September 28
September 28

Report: LIV Golf nearing deal to buy airtime to broadcast events on Fox Sports

The controversial LIV Golf circuit has signed many big names and sparked widespread conversation over the last several months, but one thing it hasn't had is a deal to broadcast its events on television. That, according to a report Tuesday night, may be changing soon. Golfweek, citing multiple sources, reported that LIV Golf is nearing a deal to buy airtime on Fox Sports, one that would see its events broadcast on FS1. The deal is still being finalized, according to the report. LIV Golf is five events into its inaugural season, with three more on tap before year's end. It will expand to 14 tournaments in 2023. According to Golfweek, it wasn't immediately clear if the agreement with Fox Sports, once finalized, would begin this year or next. Thus far, LIV's 54-hole shotgun-start events have been streamed on YouTube, as well as on the tour's website. Commissioner Greg Norman had said earlier this month that LIV was talking to four potential media companies about a...
September 28
September 28

Miami Marlins' Richard Bleier only pitcher since 1900 with 3 balks in same at-bat, gets tossed vs. Mets

Miami Marlins lefty Richard Bleier had himself an inning to forget Tuesday night against the Mets in New York, making major league history as the only player since 1900 to balk three times in the same at-bat, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Bleier, who opened the eighth inning in relief with the Marlins up 6-3, quickly retired his first two batters before allowing Jeff McNeil to reach on an infield single. With Pete Alonso at the plate, Bleier was called for a balk three times, allowing McNeil to come around to score. "Words cannot describe what happened in that inning on my end," said Bleier, a seven-year veteran who hadn't been called for a balk in his first 303 big league appearances. "I don't know. It was wild." Bleier grew increasingly agitated with each balk call. Following the run-scoring balk, Marlins manager Don Mattingly sprang out of the dugout and was ejected following a heated argument with the entire umpiring crew. "I know I'm gone...
September 28
September 28

Report: LIV Golf nearing deal to buy air time to broadcast events on Fox Sports

The controversial LIV Golf circuit has signed many big names and sparked widespread conversation over the last several months, but one thing it hasn't had is a deal to broadcast its events on television. That, according to a report Tuesday night, may be changing soon. Golfweek, citing multiple sources, reported that LIV Golf is nearing a deal to buy air time on Fox Sports, one that would see its events broadcast on FS1. The deal is still being finalized, according to the report. LIV Golf is five events into its inaugural season, with three more on tap before year's end. It will expand to 14 tournaments in 2023. According to Golfweek, it wasn't immediately clear if the agreement with Fox Sports, once finalized, would begin this year or next. Thus far, LIV's 54-hole, shotgun-start events have been streamed on YouTube, as well as the tour's website. Commissioner Greg Norman had said earlier this month that LIV was talking to four potential media companies about a...
September 28
September 28

Miami Marlins' Richard Bleier first since 1900 with 3 balks in same at-bat, gets tossed vs. Mets

Miami Marlins lefty Richard Bleier had himself an inning to forget Tuesday night against the New York Mets, making major league history as the first player since 1900 to balk three times in the same at-bat, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Bleier, who opened the eighth inning in relief with the Marlins up 6-3, quickly retired his first two batters before allowing Jeff McNeil to reach on an infield single. With Pete Alonso at the plate, Bleier was called for a balk three times, allowing McNeil to come around to score. "Words cannot describe what happened in that inning on my end," said Bleier, a seven-year veteran who hadn't been called for a balk in his first 303 big league appearances. "I don't know. It was wild." Bleier grew increasingly agitated with each balk call. Following the run-scoring balk, Marlins manager Don Mattingly sprang out of the dugout and was ejected following a heated argument with the entire umpiring crew. "I know I'm gone...
September 28
September 27

Miami Marlins' Richard Bleier ties MLB record with 3 balks in inning, gets tossed vs. Mets

Miami Marlins lefty Richard Bleier had himself an inning to forget Tuesday night against the New York Mets, making major league history as the first player since 1900 to balk three times in the same at-bat, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Bleier, who opened the eighth inning in relief with the Marlins up 6-3, quickly retired his first two batters before allowing Jeff McNeil to reach on an infield single. With Pete Alonso at the plate, Bleier was called for a balk three times, allowing McNeil to come around to score. "Words cannot describe what happened in that inning on my end," said Bleier, a seven-year veteran who hadn't been called for a balk in his first 303 big league appearances. "I don't know. It was wild." Bleier grew increasingly agitated with each balk call. Following the run-scoring balk, Marlins manager Don Mattingly sprang out of the dugout and was ejected following a heated argument with the entire umpiring crew. "I know I'm gone...
September 27
September 27

Bo Nickal earns UFC contract with 52-second submission win over Donovan Beard

LAS VEGAS -- Prepare yourselves for some Bo Nickal hype. Nickal, a three-time NCAA Division I national collegiate wrestling champion, starched another opponent on Dana White's Contender Series on Tuesday night, submitting  Donovan Beard with a triangle choke just 52 seconds into their middleweight bout. It was Nickal's second win on the Contender Series in two months, and it earned him an exclusive contract to fight in the UFC less than two years into his transition from amateur wrestling into MMA. "I literally write notes to remind me [of the fights]," White said after Nickal's performance. "The only note on my paper is, 'god damn.' I mean, for a kid who has almost no experience, he took on a guy who's 6-foot-2, a 7-1 [record], 78-inch reach -- the confidence this kid had to roll into the triangle the way he did. ... "Me and a lot of other people are excited to see the future this kid has. Welcome to the UFC." Nickal (3-0) is arguably the hottest prospect in...
September 27
September 27

New York Yankees win, secure American League East crown as Aaron Judge stays at 60 homers

TORONTO -- From a near August collapse to a late September clinch. What seemed predestined when the New York Yankees were the best team in baseball in the first half of the season and looked doubtful with their subpar play in the second half, was made official Tuesday night. A 5-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays gave the Yankees their 20th American League East title. It's the first divisional pennant for New York since 2019, which was also the year that Aaron Boone won his first title as a manager. "Really proud of the guys. It's the toughest division to win ... every team's a battle," Boone said after Tuesday night's win at Rogers Centre. "You got to pack a lunch, as I like to say, when you're playing these teams. Especially at the start, probably most people picked a lot of other teams. We got off to a great start, obviously weathered the storm. These guys never really panicked or never lost that underlying confidence that even when we were going through some...
September 27
September 27

Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett injured shoulder, biceps in one-car crash

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett suffered a shoulder sprain and a biceps strain as well as cuts and bruises in the one-car crash he was involved in Monday afternoon, general manager Andrew Berry said in a statement. Garrett, 26, was released from a Cleveland hospital the same day after being treated for the injuries. Berry said Tuesday said Garrett cleared concussion protocol but that his status for Sunday's game against the  Atlanta Falcons is up in the air. The crash occurred after Garrett left practice at the Browns' training facility in Berea, Ohio.  "Currently, our focus is on providing Myles the medical care needed for him to return to football activity," Berry said in the statement. "Although we hope to have him back soon, his availability for Sunday's game in Atlanta will be evaluated by team doctors throughout the week." According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Garrett crashed his 2021 Porsche near Wadsworth, Ohio, at around 3 p.m. The...
September 27
September 27

Suns' Deandre Ayton says he hasn't spoken to coach Monty Williams since Game 7 benching

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton said he hasn't spoken with head coach Monty Williams since he was benched during a stunning Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in May. Ayton had a tense summer with the Suns, signing a four-year, $133 million offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers before Phoenix matched using his restricted free agent rights. "I haven't spoken to him at all, ever since the game," Ayton told reporters after the first practice of the season on Tuesday. "I can show him better than I can tell him. It's life. Nobody cares about the uncomfortable nature of it, it's how you perform and what you bring to the table. What's said is already said." Ayton worked out at the Suns facility for weeks leading up to training camp, but Williams said he purposely decided to leave players alone a little this summer to give them space. "I think 1-on-1s are always needed between guys I've been around for awhile," Williams said. "Some guys need it...
September 27
September 27

New York Jets dealt another blow at offensive tackle as George Fant put on IR with QB Zach Wilson's return approaching

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets left tackle George Fant was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, their third offensive tackle to land on IR since training camp. The injury couldn't come at a worse time for the Jets, who are hoping quarterback Zach Wilson returns to the lineup Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Wilson starts, his blindside will be protected by a third-string left tackle, most likely Conor McDermott, a career backup. Fant's surgically repaired left knee has been bothering him since training camp -- the procedure was performed in the offseason -- finally forcing him to the sideline during last Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He will miss at least four games. The Jets have endured a run of rotten luck at tackle. In August, right tackle Mekhi Becton went down in practice with a season-ending knee injury that required surgery. They responded by signing former Pro Bowl left tackle Duane...
September 27
September 27

Cincinnati Bengals DBs say they have Eli Apple's back for matchup with Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

CINCINNATI -- Bengals cornerback Eli Apple might not be talking about his ongoing feud with Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill, but that hasn't stopped some of Apple's teammates ahead of the teams' meeting at Cincinnati's Paycor Stadium on Thursday night. After the Dolphins' victory over the  Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Hill told reporters he owes Apple after their meetings last season when he was with the Kansas City Chiefs. Apple and the Bengals won both, including in the AFC Championship Game to advance to Super Bowl LVI. "I can't wait to go against Eli Apple. I owe you, boy. I owe you. I'm here. The Cheetah is here. That's it," Hill said. On Tuesday, Bengals safety Jessie Bates III said Apple has the support of his teammates. "(If) somebody comes after Eli, he comes after all of us," Bates said. "We're all up for the challenge." The veteran safety said that he wasn't surprised with Hill's comments about Apple. "I...
September 27
September 27

Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash says he's cleared the air with Kevin Durant after tumultuous summer

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash wants to make it clear that his relationship with star forward Kevin Durant is good heading into the start of the 2022-23 season. That statement comes following a tumultuous summer for the organization in which Durant asked for a trade, then asked for Nash and general manager Sean Marks to be fired. "We're fine," Nash said after the Nets' first official practice of the season on Tuesday. "We're good. Ever since we talked, it's been like nothing's changed. I have a long history with Kevin. I love the guy. Families have issues. We had a moment and it's behind us. That's what happens. It's a common situation in the league. "We all were hurting, seething, to go through what we went through last year, not being able to overcome all that adversity. Sometimes you lose perspective because you expect to win, but the reality is we were able to talk and discuss what we can improve on from last year. And also keep perspective....
September 27
September 27

Boise State Broncos QB Hank Bachmeier to enter transfer portal

Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier told ESPN that he has initiated the process of entering the NCAA transfer portal and expects to be listed there officially in the next day. Bachmeier is a four-year starter at Boise State, and by leaving before playing in his fifth game this season, he will preserve two seasons of eligibility remaining at his new school. Bachmeier has started 29 games in his career for the Broncos, and his success combined with his experience should make him one of the most coveted quarterbacks in the NCAA transfer portal this offseason. Bachmeier told ESPN that his main priority in choosing a school is finding the best situation to both win games and prepare himself for the NFL. He said that he's going to be deliberate in his process to find the best situation. Bachmeier has already graduated, which means he can enter the portal and will be eligible immediately wherever he goes. "I loved my time at Boise State, and I feel like I've given everything...
September 27
September 27

Chicago Bulls' Lonzo Ball can't run, jump without pain as 2nd knee surgery of 2022 looms

CHICAGO -- After spending the summer rehabbing in Los Angeles and seeking different opinions from knee specialists, Bulls guard Lonzo Ball said he still can't run or jump without feeling pain in his left knee, which is why he is scheduled to undergo another arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday. "There was a point where we would warm up and stuff, and I would go through certain days and it would be fine," Ball said during a video call with reporters Tuesday. "Then whenever I got to real basketball activities, I just couldn't do it. Unfortunately, this is what's at hand and has to be dealt with. We feel like surgery, again, is the best option.'' The Bulls held their first team practice of the season Tuesday afternoon while Ball was in L.A. preparing for the second surgery on his left knee since January and third in his career -- including a procedure in 2018 while he played for the Los Angeles Lakers. Ball said he would return to Chicago to be with the team for...
September 27
September 27

Clay Matthews says he had hoped to finish his career with the Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Clay Matthews always thought he would play his entire career with the Green Bay Packers. Even when he left after 10 years to play one season with the Los Angeles Rams, he thought there was a chance he would still finish his career where it started. But Matthews, the Packers' all-time sack leader, says he's now at peace with the entirety of his career. Matthews said after the 2018 season the Packers told him he would still be in their plans, even though his production had waned. However, once they signed pass-rushers Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith in free agency, he knew it was over. Shortly after, he said he received a call from Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst informing him that they were moving on. "I would have loved to finish my career there," Matthews said Monday as part of a promotional tour for Tide detergent. "Based on my discussions after that 2018 season, I thought we were going to continue moving forward. But...
September 27
September 27

Florida Gators move football game vs. Eastern Washington Eagles to Sunday due to Hurricane Ian

With Hurricane Ian barreling toward Florida's Gulf Coast, the college football game between Florida and Eastern Washington has been pushed from Saturday to Sunday in Gainesville. The University of Florida announced the change Tuesday, saying it will continue to work with local and state officials to monitor the impact of the storm. Florida (2-2) is coming off a loss to No. 11 Tennessee, while Eastern Washington (1-2) has lost two straight games. The game, which will be held in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, will be a noon ET kickoff (ESPN+/SEC Network+). The University of Florida has canceled classes from Wednesday through Friday. Other games being impacted in Florida by the potential effects of Hurricane Ian: South Florida's football game with East Carolina has been moved from Tampa to Boca Raton and will be played at 2:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN+). That game will be played at Florida Atlantic's stadium. It had originally...
September 27
September 27

New York Giants lose top receiver Sterling Shepard to torn ACL

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in Monday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys, coach Brian Daboll said Tuesday. The injury will end his season and perhaps his time with the Giants. Shepard, the longest-tenured player on the team, is in the final year of a restructured deal he signed this offseason off a torn left Achilles. "He's a tremendous person. He's worked so diligently to get back," Daboll said. "Feel so terrible for him that he's had that injury. Big part of our team. Going to miss him out on that field." The Giants plan to look internally for Kadarius Toney (hamstring), Wan'Dale Robinson (knee) and the struggling Kenny Golladay to fill the void. Shepard was serving as the team's No. 1 receiver. The noncontact injury happened in the final minutes of New York's 23-16 loss to Dallas. It came on a seemingly innocuous play where Shepard was...
September 27
September 27

Independent panel: Memphis Tigers basketball coach Penny Hardaway did not violate NCAA rules in providing benefits to prospective student-athletes

An Independent Accountability Resolution Process hearing panel concluded that  Memphis Tigers men's basketball coach Penny Hardaway didn't violate NCAA rules when he provided benefits to three prospective student-athletes because of his long-standing philanthropy in Memphis, according to a decision released on Tuesday. The IARP panel ruled that Memphis failed to monitor the education and activities of an athletics booster, provided impermissible extra benefits, conducted impermissible recruiting activities with prospective student-athletes and failed to cooperate with the investigative process by delaying the production of requested documents. The Tigers were placed on three years' probation through Sept. 26, 2025, and fined $5,000, plus 0.25% of their men's basketball budget, after the IARP concluded Memphis committed four Level II violations and five Level III violations. Memphis cannot appeal the ruling under IARP rules. "Now that the IARP has arrived at its final...
September 27
September 27

Phil Mickelson, 3 other golfers ask to be dismissed as plaintiffs in LIV Golf's lawsuit against the PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson and three other golfers asked to be dismissed as plaintiffs in LIV Golf's federal antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, according to a notice of voluntary dismissal filed Tuesday. Talor Gooch, Ian Poulter and Hudson Swafford also asked to no longer be plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, which accuses the PGA Tour of illegally suspending them for playing in LIV Golf events and using its monopoly power to squash competition. Mickelson, a six-time major champion, told reporters at the LIV Golf event outside Chicago two weeks ago that he was considering removing himself from the lawsuit. He reiterated that stance following today's proceedings. "I am focused on moving forward and am extremely happy being a part of LIV, while also grateful for my time on the Tour," Mickelson said in a statement on Tuesday. "I am pleased that the players on Tour are finally being heard, respected, and valued and are benefitting from the changes recently implemented. With...
September 27
September 27

South Carolina football moves up game to Thursday because of threat of Hurricane Ian

Due to the threat of Hurricane Ian, South Carolina on Tuesday announced that it is moving its game against South Carolina State up to Thursday night. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. ET. It had been scheduled to take place in Columbia on Saturday at noon ET. "Due to the potential impact of the hurricane on Columbia and the surrounding area, it is in the best interest of safety to play the game on Thursday rather than Saturday afternoon," South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement. "I appreciate the cooperation of South Carolina State head coach Buddy Pough, the South Carolina State administration and the Southeastern Conference officials who worked closely to make the appropriate operational adjustments in order to accommodate this change in the schedule. "... Based on the current forecast and expected weather conditions as well as information from our campus, state and local law enforcement agencies, at this time, the University is confident...
September 27
September 27

Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett discharged from hospital after treatment following one-car crash

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been released from a Cleveland hospital after being treated for injuries he sustained in a one-car crash Monday afternoon, ESPN has confirmed.   The crash occurred after Garrett left the Browns' training facility in Berea, Ohio.  Garrett's agent, Nicole Lynn told ESPN that Garrett did not break any bones in the accident.  Garrett crashed his 2021 Porsche after practice near Wadsworth, Ohio, at around 3 p.m., according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The vehicle went off the side of the road and flipped over before coming to a rest. A female passenger who was in the vehicle was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Highway patrol said impairment by drugs or alcohol was not suspected and that Garrett and the woman were both wearing seat belts. The crash is under investigation.  The Browns face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
September 27
September 27

Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett discharged from hospital after treatment following one-car accident

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been released from a Cleveland hospital after being treated for non-life-threatening injuries he sustained in a one-car accident Monday afternoon, ESPN has confirmed.   The accident occurred after Garrett left the Browns' training facility in Berea, Ohio.  Garrett's agent, Nicole Lynn told ESPN that Garrett did not break any bones in the accident.  Garrett crashed his 2021 Porsche after practice near Wadsworth, Ohio, at around 3 p.m., according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The vehicle went off the side of the road and flipped over before coming to a rest. A female passenger who was in the vehicle as well was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Highway patrol said impairment by drugs or alcohol was not suspected and that Garrett and the woman were both wearing seat belts. The crash is under investigation.  The Browns face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
September 27
September 27

Sources: Initial tests reveal serious knee injury to New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard suffered what is believed to be a serious left knee injury, multiple sources told ESPN, after Shepard had initial tests following Monday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys. The noncontact injury happened in the final minutes of New York's 23-16 loss to Dallas. A final diagnosis will come Tuesday morning, when Shepard undergoes more tests, but the fear is that his season is over. Shepard, who was cleared to practice late this summer after tearing his left Achilles last December, leads the Giants with 154 receiving yards through three games. He's also played the most snaps (157) of all the team's receivers. "It's tough. It's a tough sport," coach Brian Daboll said. "Guys work their butts off to get back from injuries. This is something, if he's out for the whole season, which we'll probably know [Tuesday] morning ... you hurt for those guys because you watch them in the rehab...
September 27
September 26

Texas A&M Aggies lose top WR Ainias Smith to season-ending leg injury

Texas A&M leading wide receiver Ainias Smith will miss the rest of the season with a leg injury, coach Jimbo Fisher said Monday. Smith, a senior, sustained the injury while blocking during the third quarter of Saturday's win over Arkansas. Fisher would only describe Smith's injury as lower body, but Smith's father, Maurice, told the Bryan College Station Eagle that the wideout sustained a fracture in his leg. Smith leads Texas A&M with 15 receptions for 291 yards and two touchdowns. "Diversity and leadership and experience," Fisher said when asked what Texas A&M would miss most in losing Smith. "But he'll be around to help those guys and mentor those guys, and that's the best he can do. He's a unique player, he's a unique competitor and I love him to death. It's just an unfortunate situation." Smith has 127 career receptions for 1,612 yards and 17 touchdowns, as well as 384 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 67 carries. He served as a captain in 2021, and he has...
September 26
September 26

'We're the underdogs': Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers set out to prove themselves all over again

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- With reams of championship banners hanging above him, a couple of surefire Hall of Fame teammates present in the gym with him and a team roster that will cost the Los Angeles Lakers a hair under $175 million, Anthony Davis' statement about the upcoming season sounded almost unthinkable. "We're treating this season like we have a chip on our shoulder. We're the underdogs," Davis told ESPN during the team's annual media day on Monday. "Obviously, the world is looking to see what we do. But ... they're not talking about us, and that's fine. You know, we'd rather be under the radar." The Lakers? Underdogs? With this team? It's a bit of a stretch. However, Davis' declaration only served to underscore just how disastrous last season was for L.A. when, after coming in as the betting odds' favorite to win the championship, the Lakers didn't even qualify for the play-in tournament. Davis missed 42 games with ankle and knee injuries. LeBron...
September 26
September 26

Tampa Bay Buccaneers relocating to South Florida ahead of Hurricane Ian, will hold practices at Miami Dolphins' facility

TAMPA, Fla. -- With Hurricane Ian set to move over Florida's west coast Wednesday into Thursday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be temporarily relocating to South Florida, the team announced Monday evening. The Bucs will depart Tampa on Tuesday and will spend the week practicing at the Miami Dolphins' Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens through the end of the week, if necessary. The Bucs had previously hosted the Dolphins for two days of joint practices prior to their Week 1 preseason game. A hurricane warning was issued for the Tampa Bay area Monday night. Forecasters say the region will start to see effects of the storm as early as Tuesday afternoon, with the worst effects coming Thursday. Ian is currently a Category 2 storm but is expected to strengthen as it hovers off the coast. "I don't think that anyone's really prepared for this. I know I've been preparing all morning and get all my stuff outside, try to put it inside, try to get all the stuff...
September 26
September 26

New England Patriots QB Mac Jones likely will miss multiple games with severe high ankle sprain, sources say

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. --  New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is dealing with what doctors have diagnosed as a severe high ankle sprain that would cause many to have surgery, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Jones is likely to miss multiple games, the sources said, and he and the Patriots still are discussing his options and the best way to proceed. Jones, who suffered the sprain on Sunday in the  37-26 home loss to the Baltimore Ravens, deflected questions on his timetable for recovery when asked about it earlier Monday. In a videoconference with reporters from the Patriots' facility, Jones repeated the words "day by day" or "day to day" nine times. "I'm just going to take it day by day, get my treatment and do what I do. Just see how I feel," he said. "If you have any more of those type questions, talk to Coach [Bill] Belichick. I think he likes those questions." Jones, who was in considerable pain as he hopped off the field on...
September 26
September 26

Spurs for NBA title? Gregg Popovich says don't bet on very young roster to reach old heights

SAN ANTONIO -- Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker may be walking through that door at the San Antonio Spurs' practice facility, but they are only coming to visit. In their place on the court is a bunch of fresh-faced youngsters who may want to wear a name tag to curry favor with 73-year-old coach Gregg Popovich. "I walked into the film room today, and there was this young kid sitting there, and I said, 'Who the hell are you?'" Popovich said. "Seriously. He said ... I forgot his name already. I don't know anybody." The franchise that won five NBA championships and matched a league record with 22 straight postseason appearances now has the equivalent of summer interns walking the halls. Popovich considered last season a chance to develop his young roster. That plan is amplified this season with at least 10 players 25 or younger. "I probably shouldn't say this, but I'll say it anyway, what the hell: Nobody here should go to Vegas with the thought of betting on us to...
September 26
September 26

New England Patriots QB Mac Jones, addressing high ankle sprain, offers only that he is taking injury 'day by day'

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, who suffered a high left ankle sprain in Sunday's 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, deflected questions on his timetable for recovery on Monday. In a videoconference with reporters from the Patriots' facility, Jones repeated the words "day by day" or "day to day" nine times. "I'm just going to take it day by day, get my treatment and do what I do. Just see how I feel," he said. "If you have any more of those type questions, talk to Coach [Bill] Belichick. I think he likes those questions." Jones, who was in considerable pain as he hopped off the field Sunday, laughed and flashed a smile as he delivered the line about Belichick, who notoriously disdains addressing injuries with reporters. The Patriots (1-2) visit the Green Bay Packers (2-1) on Sunday, and Belichick said early Monday that he wouldn't speculate if Jones might be placed on injured reserve. Jones echoed...
September 26

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