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August 12

Double duty: Matt Patricia, Joe Judge share playcalling duties in preseason opener for Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Matt Patricia and Joe Judge split the offensive playcalling duties in the New England Patriots' 23-21 loss to the New York Giants in Thursday night's preseason opener, adding a new wrinkle to a hot-button topic surrounding the team. Head coach Bill Belichick hasn't named an official offensive coordinator to replace Josh McDaniels but is primarily leaning on Patricia, whose title is senior football advisor/offensive line coach, and Judge, whose title is offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach. Patricia called the plays for the opening two series with veteran Brian Hoyer at quarterback Thursday night, then Judge took over when rookie Bailey Zappe entered the game. "I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to do that," Belichick said. Asked if he knows who will call plays when the regular season arrives, Belichick said: "Don't worry about that. We'll work it out. ... We're going through a process. Just like...
August 12
August 12

Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds soak in experience at Field of Dreams game in Iowa

DYERSVILLE, Iowa -- The intimate crowd, the movie set, all that corn and simply playing a major league game in Iowa were the highlights for participants of Thursday's second-ever Field of Dreams MLB game. The actual competition on the field didn't live up to last year's heroics when the White Sox won in walk-off fashion over the Yankees, but the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds enjoyed themselves nonetheless. "There is no way anything could take away from the day we had here," Reds manager David Bell said after his team lost 4-2. "It's a great experience. Heard so many people throughout our clubhouse saying it's something they'll remember for the rest of their life." The winning team agreed, especially Cubs starter Drew Smyly, who pitched fantastic. His wife and daughter joined him as they celebrated the latter's fifth birthday. He was asked for the day's highlight -- besides pitching five shutout innings. "Just being a...
August 12
August 12

Double duty: Matt Patricia, Joe Judge share play-calling duties in preseason opener for Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Matt Patricia and Joe Judge split the offensive play-calling duties in the New England Patriots' 23-21 loss to the New York Giants in Thursday night's preseason opener, adding a new wrinkle to a hot-button topic surrounding the team. Head coach Bill Belichick hasn't named an official offensive coordinator to replace Josh McDaniels, but is primarily leaning on Patricia, whose title is senior football advisor/offensive line coach, and Judge, whose title is offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach. Patricia called the plays for the opening two series with veteran Brian Hoyer at quarterback on Thursday night, then Judge took over when rookie Bailey Zappe entered the game. "I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to do that," Belichick said. Asked if he knows who will call plays when the regular season arrives, Belichick said: "Don't worry about that. We'll work it out. ... We're going through a process. Just like...
August 12
August 11

Prominent Southern California youth coach Chris Flores arrested on charges of sexual assault of minor

Chris Flores, a prominent Southern California youth coach, was arrested Thursday in Bakersfield on multiple counts of sexual assault of a minor. A warrant for Flores' arrest had been issued by the Santa Ana Police Department and was executed with the assistance of Bakersfield police, according to Santa Ana police Sgt. Maria Lopez. Flores, 37, had been under investigation since Aug. 5, when police became aware of allegations against him. Flores, also known as "Coach Frogg," is well-known in the region for his association with several high-profile current and former college and NFL football players. The allegations surfaced on social media this week, stemming from an audio recording of two parties in which an adult male voice -- identified by police as Flores -- prods a girl to go see a movie with him. When she declines his request to FaceTime, the man says, "We talked about this, dude. You gotta stop with the nos." The man goes on to ask the girl whether she "deleted everything,"...
August 11
August 11

Mariners activate star outfielder Julio Rodriguez off 10-day injured list

Seattle star rookie Julio Rodríguez was activated from the 10-day injured list Thursday after recovering from a bruised right wrist. Rodriguez missed 11 games after exiting in the eighth inning on July 30 against Houston. Manager Scott Servais said at the time that X-rays were negative, but that the center fielder was very sore and wouldn't be able to hold a bat for at least five days. The team decided it was best to place him on the injured list so they could add another player to the roster. The injury dealt a temporary blow for the Mariners with Rodríguez having a great rookie season, hitting .271 with 18 homers and 57 RBIs. To make room for Rodriguez, outfielder Jarred Kelenic was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma. The Mariners also designated catcher Luis Torrens for assignment Thursday.
August 11
August 11

Prominent Southern California athletic trainer Chris Flores arrested on charges of sexual assault of minor

Chris Flores, a prominent Southern California athletic trainer, was arrested Thursday in Bakersfield on charges related to sexual assault of a minor. A warrant for Flores' arrest had been issued by the Santa Ana Police Department and was executed with the assistance of Bakersfield police, according to Santa Ana police Sgt. Maria Lopez. Flores had been under investigation in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct involving underage girls. Flores, also known as "Coach Frogg," is well-known in the region for his association with several high-profile current and former college and NFL football players. The allegations surfaced on social media this week, stemming from an audio recording of two parties in which an adult male voice prods a young woman to go see a movie with him. When she declines his request to FaceTime, the male voice says, "We talked about this, dude. You gotta stop with the nos." Multiple sources familiar with Flores told ESPN the voice on the recording was...
August 11
August 11

Atlanta Braves place ace left-hander Max Fried on concussion IL

The Atlanta Braves placed ace left-hander Max Fried on the 7-day concussion injured list Thursday, days after he hit his head on the field during a game at Citi Field. The Braves made the move retroactive to Monday. Fried was injured in the Braves' 6-2 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday night, the second game of a doubleheader. In the third inning, a throw by Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson bounced and caromed off Fried's chest at first base and went into foul territory. Fried slipped and fell face-first, and his pitching shoulder and head hit the ground hard as he attempted to get the Mets'  Francisco Lindor out with a throw to home plate. Fried remained in the game and pitched six innings, allowing six hits, four runs (two earned), striking out five and walking one. He took the loss, as he was outdueled by Mets co-ace Max Scherzer, to fall to 10-4 this season. He has a 2.60 ERA. The Braves, who are in second place in the...
August 11
August 11

Michigan State men's college basketball coach Tom Izzo gets new 5-year, $31 million deal

Michigan State has signed men's college basketball coach Tom Izzo to a new five-year deal valued at $6.2 million per season, giving him about $2 million more each year. The school announced the deal Thursday, saying the rollover contract will need to be approved by its board next month. "We greatly appreciate Coach Izzo's commitment to our outstanding university and his competitive drive to keep Spartan basketball as a national powerhouse," university president Samuel Stanley said in a statement. Izzo, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, won a national championship in 2000 and leads all active coaches with eight Final Four appearances. He led Michigan State to a 24th straight NCAA tournament last season. He has won the Big Ten title 10 times in the regular season and six conference tournament championships. The 67-year-old Izzo has led the Spartans since the 1995-96 season, when he was promoted from assistant to head coach, replacing the retiring Jud...
August 11
August 11

Bill Russell's No. 6 to be retired across NBA following legend's death last month

The NBA will honor the legacy of Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell by retiring his No. 6 jersey for all 30 teams, the league and the National Basketball Players Association announced Thursday. Russell becomes the first player in NBA history to have his jersey retired leaguewide. Additionally, all NBA players will wear a commemorative patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys during the 2022-23 season, and every court will display a shamrock-shaped logo with Russell's No. 6 on the sideline near the scorer's table. "Bill Russell's unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "Permanently retiring his No. 6 across every NBA team ensures that Bill's transcendent career will always be recognized." Starting with the 2022-23 season, no NBA team will be allowed to issue No. 6 to any player. Players who currently wear No. 6 -- such as Los...
August 11
August 11

Chicago Bears WR N'Keal Harry undergoes ankle surgery; LB Roquan Smith sits out practice after clearing PUP list

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears wide receiver N'Keal Harry underwent surgery on his left ankle Thursday and will be sidelined for an unspecified amount of time, according to coach Matt Eberflus. Harry sustained the injury on the first play of team drills Saturday when the ankle got wrapped up underneath linebacker Nicholas Morrow on a pass that went his direction. The 2019  New England Patriots first-rounder, who was traded to Chicago last month, could not bear weight on his ankle and was helped off the field by trainers and teammates. Harry's injury is one of several at the wide receiver position for the Bears. Byron Pringle is out indefinitely with a quad injury, per the team, and rookie Velus Jones Jr. is classified as day-to-day despite missing the last week of training camp. Chicago was without 21 players for the second day in a row at practice, its last before the preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs on...
August 11
August 11

Judge: LIV golfers didn't show they were harmed by PGA Tour

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The federal judge who denied temporary restraining orders to three LIV Golf players who wanted to come back to the PGA Tour to compete in the FedEx Cup playoffs said the plaintiffs failed to "even show that they have been harmed -- let alone irreparably." United States District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman, of the Northern District of California, made that assessment in her written ruling that was released on Thursday. Freeman ruled on Tuesday that the PGA Tour could ban Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford from competing in the FedEx Cup playoffs while they were suspended for appearing in LIV Golf tournaments without conflicting-event releases. "Based on this evidence, [temporary restraining order] Plaintiffs have not even shown that they have been harmed -- let alone irreparably," Freeman wrote in her ruling. "It is clear that the LIV Golf contracts negotiated by the TRO Plaintiffs and consummated between the parties were based...
August 11
August 11

Sources: New York Jets add OT Duane Brown after Mekhi Becton's serious knee injury

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- With right tackle Mekhi Becton likely sidelined the entire season with a knee injury, the New York Jets finalized a two-year, $22 million contract with offensive tackle  Duane Brown, a five-time Pro Bowler, sources told ESPN. The veteran free agent visited with the Jets over the weekend, attending their annual Green & White scrimmage at MetLife Stadium. The Jets began courting Brown before Becton's injury Monday. Initially, coach Robert Saleh said Brown would be a "bonus" because he was satisfied with his tackle situation, but that changed Monday night when Becton's MRI revealed a chip fracture in his right kneecap. Brown, who turns 37 on Aug. 30, has 203 career starts -- all at left tackle. His position with the Jets has yet to be determined, a source said. It will be discussed once he arrives. He didn't miss a start the past two seasons while playing for the Seattle Seahawks. He made the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement last...
August 11
August 11

Pittsburgh Steelers to start Mitch Trubisky over Mason Rudolph, Kenny Pickett in preseason opener

LATROBE, Pa. -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have named a starting quarterback for their preseason opener, with coach Mike Tomlin going with Mitch Trubisky over Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett. The order for the Saturday game against the Seattle Seahawks reflects how the Steelers have divided reps throughout camp. Trubisky has taken almost all of the first-team reps, while Rudolph and Pickett have alternated second- and third-string periods. "I wasn't gonna be blowing in the wind regarding quarterback rotation," Tomlin said. "We've been thoughtful about giving guys an opportunity to work in different groups, but our intentions are to play them this first time out very much the way we started this process." The order was largely expected and signals that the 2017 first-round pick has the inside track to the starting job, but the backup role is still a toss-up between Rudolph and Pickett. And though all three will get an opportunity to play...
August 11
August 11

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner set for hip surgery, expected to miss 2022-23 season

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner is expected to miss the 2022-23 season after he has hip surgery, the team announced Thursday. A full timeline on Lehner's recovery is still to be determined. Vegas did not provide further details on when or how it was determined that Lehner needed surgery. Lehner, 31, was Vegas' primary starter for the first time last season but was sidelined multiple times by various ailments. He was eventually shut down in April to have shoulder surgery on an injury suffered in February. He had taken over as the Golden Knights' No. 1 goaltender after Marc-Andre Fleury was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in July 2021. The two had shared the net after Lehner arrived in Vegas via trade from the Blackhawks in 2020. Later that year, Lehner signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the Golden Knights. In 44 games in 2021-22 -- Lehner's 12th NHL campaign -- the goaltender had a 23-17-2 record with a .907 save percentage and...
August 11
August 11

Coach Todd Bowles: Tom Brady away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers to 'deal with some personal things'

TAMPA, Fla. -- Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will be away from the team for a period of time to "deal with some personal things," coach Todd Bowles said Thursday. Bowles said Brady's absence was discussed in advance and that he will return after next week's preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 20. "This is something we talked about before training camp started," Bowles said. "We allotted this time because he wanted to get in and get chemistry with the guys and go through two weeks of training camp, knowing he wasn't going to play the first two games. He didn't want to take away reps from Blaine [Gabbert] and Kyle [Trask], as well as 'Griff' [ Ryan Griffin] going into these next two games, knowing it's something he needs to handle." When asked if the issue was health-related, Bowles said, "It's a personal issue. That's all I can tell you." Bowles said he has a "pretty high level of confidence" that Brady will be...
August 11
August 11

RB James White retiring from NFL, says it was 'an honor to represent' New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. --  New England Patriots running back James White, a three-time Super Bowl champion, announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday after eight seasons. White, who re-signed with the Patriots on a two-year deal in the offseason, is on the team's physically unable to perform list. He suffered a hip injury last September that ended his season and required surgery. White said in a statement posted to social media that "it has been an honor to represent my family, my teammates and the people of New England as a Patriot!" "Thank you to Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick, and the entire Patriots organization for giving me the opportunity to live out my childhood dream. To be able to play my entire career for one franchise, in front of the best fans in the NFL, has been a tremendous blessing and honor," he added in the statement.  White, 30, has spent his entire eight-year career with the Patriots, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 draft out...
August 11
August 11

Skylar Diggins-Smith's status uncertain as Phoenix Mercury fight for WNBA playoff spot

The status of All-Star guard Skylar Diggins-Smith remains uncertain as the Phoenix Mercury continue to battle for one of the last two WNBA playoff spots with two games remaining in the regular season. Diggins-Smith, the team's leader in scoring and assists this season, did not play in Saturday's victory over New York or Wednesday's loss to Minnesota. She was listed as out with a non-COVID illness for the first game and out for personal reasons for the second. The Mercury (14-20) are tied with Atlanta, Minnesota and New York, while Los Angeles (13-21) is also in the playoff race heading into Thursday's games. The only team that already has been eliminated from the postseason is Indiana. Phoenix's remaining games are both at home, against Dallas (Friday) and Chicago (Sunday), which beat the Mercury in the WNBA Finals last year. The Mercury announced Monday that veteran guard Diana Taurasi would miss the rest of the regular season with a quad...
August 11
August 11

Cubs, Reds to play ball at 'Field of Dreams'

This is the second game MLB has played dedicated to the 1989 film.
August 11
James Earl Jones, Kevin Costner and Amy Madigan star in "Field of Dreams," 1989.
August 11

Sources: Mac Jones, most New England Patriots starters not expected to play in preseason opener

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones and most of the team's starters aren't expected to play in Thursday night's preseason game against the New York Giants, sources told ESPN. The Patriots have joint practices next week with the Carolina Panthers followed by a preseason game with them. Then the following week, the team flies to Las Vegas for joint practices with the Las Vegas Raiders and a final preseason game against them. The Patriots' preseason opener is expected to mostly feature rookies and backups vying for roster spots. Rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe, a fourth-round pick out of Western Kentucky, projects to see the majority of action behind veteran Brian Hoyer. The Giants plan to open with their healthy starters, per sources.
August 11
August 11

Atlanta Braves prospect Vaughn Grissom homers, 'seemed like a kid on the playground' in debut

BOSTON -- Top Atlanta Braves prospect Vaughn Grissom homered onto Lansdowne Street in his major league debut, and Marcell Ozuna hit a three-run shot on Wednesday night to highlight an 8-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Called up earlier in the day from Double-A, the 21-year-old Grissom hit the first pitch he saw in the seventh inning over the Green Monster and the seats above it and onto the street below for his first big league hit. He tossed his bat aside before taking off around the bases, clapped his hands as he rounded third base and arrived home to be congratulated by Michael Harris II, who had singled ahead of him. "I didn't feel a thing. I didn't feel one thing," Grissom said of his home run during his on-field, postgame interview on Bally Sports South. "Literally, I hit it and blacked out until I saw my first-base coach and just started laughing." A healthy number of Braves fans in the crowd of 35,406 gave Grissom a big...
August 11
August 10

Vanessa Bryant’s trial over Kobe Bryant crash photos begins

First responders allegedly shared photos of her husband and daughter's bodies.
August 10
In this Jan. 26, 2022, file photo, artist Dan Medina's bronze sculpture depicting Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna Bryant, and the names of those who died in a helicopter crash in 2020, is seen during a one-day temporary memorial display in Calabasas, Calif. The sculpture was temporarily placed at the site of the crash.
August 10

Tua Tagovailoa's reaction to Miami Dolphins' Tom Brady interest: 'I'm still here ... that's all noise'

TAMPA, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa told reporters last week that he believes the team is "all in" on him despite its prior interest in Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. His answer was even more succinct Wednesday when asked again about his reaction to that interest. "Yeah, I mean, I'm still here," he said. "To me, that's all noise at this point." Tagovailoa and the Dolphins practiced with Brady's Buccaneers on Wednesday, the first of two joint practices before the teams' preseason opener Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. The timing of their joint practice coincidentally comes one week after the NFL disciplined Miami for impermissible contact with Brady in 2019 and 2021 -- failed efforts to persuade him to join the Dolphins as a limited partner, football executive and possibly as a player. The league fined Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and limited partner and vice chairman Bruce Beal a combined $2 million and stripped...
August 10
August 10

Chicago Bears remove linebacker Roquan Smith from physically unable to perform list

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears removed linebacker Roquan Smith from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Wednesday, the team announced. The news comes one day after Smith, 25, said in a written statement that he has requested a trade after contract negotiations between the linebacker and team reached an impasse. Smith reported to training camp on July 26 without a new contract and was expected to hold in until he and the Bears reached an agreement. The former first-round pick is entering the final year of his rookie deal where he is set to earn $9.7 million. Smith participated in the entire Bears offseason workout program this spring while waiting for a new contract and did not appear to suffer an injury at any point. The linebacker has been present for all 12 training camp practices, often seen riding a stationary bike and doing rehab exercises near the team's weight room. NFL teams are mandated by the collective bargaining agreement to pay...
August 10
August 10

Al Avila fired as vice president, general manager of Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers fired longtime general manager Al Avila on Wednesday as the team struggled mightily in a year in which it guaranteed nearly a quarter-billion dollars in free agency to bolster its efforts to contend. Avila, 64, had spent more than two decades with the organization, including the past seven years as general manager after first serving as assistant GM. Born in Cuba, he was the only GM of Latin American descent in Major League Baseball, a sport whose player population is nearly 30% Latin American, and one of just four people of color leading a front office, alongside San Francisco GM Farhan Zaidi, Miami GM Kim Ng and  Chicago White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams. During Avila's tenure, the Tigers finished in last place in the American League Central Division four times and currently occupy the basement with a 43-68 record and a -122 run differential, both third-worst in the majors. "To Tigers fans, you're the best and...
August 10
August 10

Cleveland Browns expect to start Deshaun Watson at quarterback in preseason opener at Jacksonville

BEREA, Ohio --  Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is expected to start Friday's preseason opener against the Jaguars. The team made the announcement Wednesday just before boarding a flight to Jacksonville, Florida. Watson and the Browns are waiting to see whether he will be suspended longer than the six-game suspension he was handed for violating the personal conduct policy by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson last week. On Aug. 3, the NFL appealed Robinson's ruling, as it seeks a tougher punishment for Watson. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has appointed former New Jersey attorney general Peter C. Harvey to hear the appeal. On Tuesday, Goodell told reporters that the league is seeking a season-long suspension because the quarterback's actions were "egregious" and "predatory behavior," as Robinson noted in her 16-page report. While issuing the six-game suspension, Robinson found that Watson had in sexual assault (as the NFL defines it),...
August 10
August 10

Al Avila out as vice president, general manager of Detroit Tigers

Al Avila is out as executive vice president and general manager of the Detroit Tigers, it was announced Wednesday. "Once I decided to make a change, I sat down with Al and thanked him for his nearly 22 years of service to our organization," CEO Christopher Ilitch said in a statement. Ilitch, who invested millions in the offseason in an attempt to return his team to contention, said he would oversee the search process for Avila's replacement. Assistant general manager Sam Menzin takes over the day-to-day leadership role. "I want to re-establish our momentum and progress towards building a winning team and I am driven to find a talented executive to help us do that," Ilitch said. The Tigers have had only one winning season (2016) since Avila was promoted to general manager on Aug. 4, 2015, after serving as Dave Dombrowski's assistant.  Detroit has the second-worst record in the American League at 43-68, and the Tigers are last in the AL Central entering Wednesday's...
August 10
August 10

Detroit Lions rookie WR Jameson Williams gets Matthew Stafford's No. 9

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The newest No. 9 for the Detroit Lions is expected to be a lot faster than the old one in the Motor City. Lions rookie receiver Jameson Williams has officially switched his jersey to No. 9 --  Matthew Stafford's old Detroit number. He shared an image of the uniform on his Instagram account. Williams originally agreed to wear No. 18 as a nod to Lions great Calvin Johnson, who wore No. 81, by flipping it, but was looking for a single-digit number instead. He reached out to Stafford on his own via text as a courtesy, according to a source. Stafford didn't have any issues, the source confirmed. The Los Angeles Rams quarterback wore No. 9 for a dozen seasons in Detroit, where he set numerous franchise records before being traded for Jared Goff and then winning the Super Bowl this past season. There is no specific timetable on Williams' return as he recovers from a torn ACL in January during the collegiate national...
August 10
August 10

Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas approve decision to not let LIV Golf members into PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Rory McIlroy was paying attention to court proceedings Tuesday, when a federal judge in California denied a temporary restraining order to three suspended PGA Tour members who signed with LIV Golf and then wanted to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford won't be playing in the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the first leg of the playoffs, when it starts Thursday at TPC Southwind. "From my vantage point, common sense prevailed, and I thought it was the right decision," McIlroy said Wednesday. "Now that that has happened, I think it just lets us focus on the important stuff, which is golf. We can all move forward and not have that sideshow going on for the next few weeks, which is nice." Justin Thomas, who said he was looking for updates from the hearing on Twitter, also agreed with the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman. McIlroy and Thomas both said the ongoing dispute...
August 10
August 10

Atlanta Braves call up top prospect Vaughn Grissom to majors with Orlando Arcia put on IL

The Atlanta Braves called up top prospect Vaughn Grissom to the majors on Wednesday in a series of moves that included placing second baseman Orlando Arcia on the 10-day injured list because of a strained left hamstring. The 21-year-old Grissom, an infielder, has hit .324 with an .899 OPS at two levels of the Braves' minor league system and is currently with Double-A Mississippi, where he was hitting .363 in 22 games. He has 14 home runs and 67 RBIs in the minors this season. Grissom has played shortstop, third base and second base in the minors and likely will play mostly second base in the majors with Arcia on the IL and Ozzie Albies still sidelined by a fractured left foot. Grissom is playing second base in Wednesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox, batting ninth. This is the second time this season the Braves have called up their top prospect from Double-A to the majors. In May, the Braves recalled center fielder ...
August 10
August 10

Hideki Matsuyama withdraws from FedEx St. Jude Championship with neck injury

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, on Wednesday because of a neck injury. Matsuyama, who is ranked 11th in the FedEx Cup points standings, is in good shape to advance to next week's BMW Championship (top 70 players) at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware and the season-ending Tour Championship (top 30 players) at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. "I am very disappointed to have to withdraw from this week's FedEx St. Jude Championship, but I felt it was the best decision to ensure my neck receives the treatment it needs for me to compete in the BMW Championship and Tour Championship," Matsuyama said in a statement released Wednesday. It was the fourth time this season that Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, has pulled out of a tournament because of injury. He also withdrew at The Players, Valero Texas Open and 3M Open. He was disqualified during the first round...
August 10
August 10

Cleveland Browns lose WR Jakeem Grant for season to torn Achilles

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver and kick returner Jakeem Grant Sr. has a torn Achilles and will miss the entire 2022 season after being placed on injured reserve Wednesday. Grant had to be carted off the field during Tuesday's practice after suffering the injury. "I really feel awful for Jakeem," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Tuesday before the results of the follow-up tests were known. "We've witnessed how hard the young man has worked since he got to our team. We all realize injuries are a part of our game but that doesn't make it any easier to accept especially for someone that works as hard and carries himself like Jakeem." The Browns signed Grant to a three-year deal this offseason to be their kick and punt returner; Grant, however, was also having a standout training camp as a receiver out of the slot, as well. Grant, a Pro Bowl returner for the Chicago Bears last season, has four punt return touchdowns and two TDs off kick returns...
August 10
August 10

Source: Cleveland Browns lose WR Jakeem Grant to torn Achilles

BEREA, Ohio -- Follow-up tests have confirmed that Cleveland Browns wide receiver and kick returner Jakeem Grant Sr. has a torn Achilles, a source told ESPN on Wednesday. Grant had to be carted off the field during Tuesday's practice after suffering the injury in the drill.  "I really feel awful for Jakeem," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Tuesday before the results of the follow-up tests were known. "We've witnessed how hard the young man has worked since he got to our team. We all realize injuries are a part of our game but that doesn't make it any easier to accept especially for someone that works as hard and carries himself like Jakeem." The Browns signed Grant to a three-year deal this offseason to be their kick and punt returner; Grant, however, was also having a standout training camp as a receiver out of the slot, as well. Grant, a Pro Bowl returner for the Chicago Bears last season, has four punt return touchdowns and two scores off kick...
August 10
August 10

Wake Forest Demon Deacons QB Sam Hartman out indefinitely with non-football-related medical condition

Wake Forest will be without starting quarterback Sam Hartman for "an extended period of time" because of a non-football-related issue, the school announced Wednesday, but head coach Dave Clawson insisted Hartman will return at some point this season. Clawson said Hartman underwent "a medical procedure" Tuesday night after seeking medical attention during a workout earlier in the day. The school did not specify the nature of the situation, citing privacy laws, but Clawson said it was "one of those things that could happen to any one of us." Clawson said he did not want to speculate on a timetable for Hartman's return, but the QB, who accounted for 50 touchdowns last season, was at practice Wednesday and addressed the team afterward. "He just wanted those guys to see him and know he's OK," Clawson said. "He wanted to come out here with a smile and see his teammates. He's in a good place. ... He's a guy that's extremely motivated. Football's very important to him, he loves...
August 10
August 10

Boston Celtics open with top projected win total for 2022-23 NBA season, followed by Suns, Warriors, Bucks

The Boston Celtics, the consensus betting favorite to win the 2022-23 NBA title, have the highest projected win total for next season at 54.5 at Caesars Sportsbook, which released its numbers Wednesday. The Phoenix Suns have the next-highest total at 53.5 and are followed by the defending-champion Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks at 52.5. With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving involved in a wild offseason full of trade rumors and public discord, the Brooklyn Nets (45.5) pose unique bookmaking uncertainty for the coming season. "We just have to go off of what we know now," Caesars Sportsbook assistant director of trading Adam Pullen told ESPN. "One thing I am not high on is predicting where players are going. If [Durant or Irving] gets traded, then we have to adjust to the news." Said Caesars Sportsbook senior trading manager Eric Fenstermaker: "[45.5] is kind of in the middle. If Durant and Kyrie stick around, it will...
August 10
August 10

Wake Forest Demon Deacons QB Sam Hartman out indefinitely with non-football medical condition

Wake Forest will be without starting quarterback Sam Hartman for "an extended period of time" due to a non-football issue, the school announced Wednesday. After workouts on Tuesday, Hartman sought medical attention for a condition unrelated to football, according to the school. Details on the condition were withheld due to privacy restrictions. Medical personnel ran tests on Hartman and determined he should be withheld from competition indefinitely. "Tuesday was a frustrating day, but I am extremely grateful for our medical staff and for Dr. Chris Miles and Niles Fleet for staying with me throughout this process," Hartman said in a statement released by the school. "I look forward to attacking this rehabilitation process and I am so appreciative of the support I have received from my family, teammates and coaches." Hartman, a three-year starter, led Wake to the ACC Atlantic Division title last season and a Gator Bowl win over Rutgers, throwing for 4,228 yards and...
August 10
August 10

Trial to begin over Kobe Bryant helicopter crash photos

LOS ANGELES -- An invasion of privacy trial against the Los Angeles County sheriff's and fire departments begins Wednesday in a U.S. District Court just over a mile from where Kobe Bryant played for the Lakers. Bryant's widow, Vanessa, claims deputies did not take the photos for investigative purposes and shared them with firefighters who responded to the Jan. 26, 2020, crash scene. The lawsuit said a deputy showed the photos to bar patrons and that a firefighter showed them to off-duty colleagues. Vanessa Bryant is seeking unspecified millions in compensation.  "Mrs. Bryant feels ill at the thought that sheriff's deputies, firefighters, and members of the public have gawked at gratuitous images of her deceased husband and child," the lawsuit says. "She lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online." Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and five other parents and players were flying to a girls' basketball...
August 10
August 10

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani joins Babe Ruth as only players in MLB history to have at least 10 HRs and 10 wins in same season

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Another home run, another pitching win, another spot in the history books. Just another night for Shohei Ohtani. The two-way sensation from Japan withstood another injury scare and pitched six scoreless innings to go with his team-leading 25th home run, reaching yet another monumental milestone as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Tuesday. Ohtani joined Babe Ruth (1918) as the only players in major league history to have at least 10 home runs and 10 wins in the same season. According to the Angels, two players from the Negro Leagues also did it: Bullet Rogan of the 1922 Kansas City Monarchs and Ed Rile of the 1927 Detroit Stars. "I feel like every time we're out there he does something special,'' Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. "You try not to take for granted what we're seeing every night but it's pretty awesome to be a part of. These things don't go by us lightly.'' Ohtani singled and scored on ...
August 10
August 10

Dropped call: Pirates infielder Rodolfo Castro has phone fly from back pocket during slide into third

PHOENIX -- Rodolfo Castro got the call-up and dropped a call in his return to the big leagues. The Pittsburgh infielder lost his phone during a slide into third base, and the Pirates lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 on Tuesday night. "I don't think there's any professional ballplayer that would ever go out there with any intentions of taking a cellphone,'' Castro told Pittsburgh media members through an interpreter. "It's horrible it happened to me. Obviously, it was very unintentional.'' Rookie Tommy Henry (1-1) was sharp in his Chase Field debut, allowing a run on four hits in seven innings for his first big league win. Castro made a different kind of noise after being called up from Triple-A Indianapolis -- with his phone. The second-year second baseman walked in the fourth inning and went to third on Oneil Cruz's single. Castro slid headfirst into the bag to beat the throw, and the impact sent his phone flying from his back...
August 10
August 09

Federal judge rejects bid by three LIV golfers to compete in FedEx Cup playoffs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A federal judge on Tuesday denied a temporary restraining order to three golfers who were seeking to participate in the FedEx Cup Playoffs after leaving the PGA Tour for the upstart LIV Golf Invitational Series. The players, Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford, were seeking relief to participate in the first leg of the playoffs, at this week's FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind. The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings are eligible to compete in the FedEx St. Jude Championship. Gooch is 20th in the standings, Jones is 65th and Swafford is 67th. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan suspended the players after they appeared in LIV Golf tournaments without conflicting-event releases from the tour. U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman, of the Northern District of California, ruled that the LIV players had not made their case of irreparable harm and agreed with the tour's position that the players' argument for...
August 09
August 09

Federal judge denies three LIV golfers' bid to compete in FedEx Cup playoffs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A federal judge on Tuesday denied a temporary restraining order to three golfers who were seeking to participate in the FedEx Cup Playoffs after leaving the PGA Tour for the upstart LIV Golf Invitational Series. The players, Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford, were seeking relief to participate in the first leg of the playoffs, at this week's FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind. The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings are eligible to compete in the FedEx St. Jude Championship. Gooch is 20th in the standings, Jones is 65th and Swafford is 67th. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan suspended the players after they appeared in LIV Golf tournaments without conflicting-event releases from the Tour. U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman, of the Northern District of California, ruled that the LIV players had not made their case of irreparable harm and agreed with the Tour's position that the players' argument for...
August 09
August 09

Rams coach Sean McVay announces he signed extension with team during offseason, says GM Les Snead's deal still in works

IRVINE, Calif. -- Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said Tuesday that he signed a contract extension during the offseason, but the team was waiting to announce it until general manager Les Snead signed an extension as well, which hasn't happened yet. During his first press conference of training camp, McVay was asked about a possible contract extension. He said, "We are in a good place. ... I feel really good about the direction that's going in and I think it'll be something where it'll be me and Les and you guys will know when that is finalized for us." McVay said Tuesday that he gave that answer in July because "We wanted to be able to announce that when both of us [had] gotten done." McVay built on that further by saying that's why he had hoped to wait to confirm his deal, prior to its mention in an extended profile of the coach posted Tuesday on ESPN.com. "It is something that we've been taken care of, but it is very important for Les and I to kind of have...
August 09
August 09

Sean McVay says he signed contract extension with Rams during offseason

IRVINE, Calif. -- Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said he signed a contract extension during the offseason, but the team was waiting to announce it until general manager Les Snead signed an extension as well. During his first press conference of training camp, McVay was asked about a possible contract extension. He said, "We are in a good place. ... I feel really good about the direction that's going in and I think it'll be something where it'll be me and Les and you guys will know when that is finalized for us." McVay said Tuesday that he gave that answer in July because "We wanted to be able to announce that when both of us [had] gotten done." "It is something that we've been taken care of, but it is very important for Les and I to kind of have that represented as we're a partnership and a pair," McVay said. McVay said he feels "good" about the extension, saying it was "always a really good dialogue that existed. "These things, they take time, but I think it is...
August 09
August 09

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says evidence calls for at least full-year suspension for Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is seeking a tougher penalty for Deshaun Watson because the quarterback's actions were "egregious" and "predatory behavior." Last week, the NFL formally appealed Watson's six-game suspension, which was handed down by NFL disciplinary officer Sue. L Robinson earlier this month. At a league meeting called to formally approve the Denver Broncos' new ownership group Tuesday, Goodell was asked why the NFL appealed Robinson's decision and was seeking a suspension of at least a year for the Cleveland Browns quarterback. "We've seen the evidence, she was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence," Goodell said. "There were multiple violations that were egregious, and it was predatory behavior." Last week, the NFL appointed Peter C. Harvey, a former New Jersey attorney general, to hear the appeal of Watson's suspension for violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy....
August 09
August 09

Source: Cleveland Browns fear torn Achilles for WR/KR Jakeem Grant

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver and kick returner Jakeem Grant Sr. suffered what the team fears is a torn Achilles, a league source told ESPN. Grant had to be carted off the field during Tuesday's practice after suffering the injury in the drill. A source said the team is awaiting imaging to confirm the Achilles tear. The Browns signed Grant to a three-year deal this offseason to be their kick and punt returner; Grant, however, was also having a standout training camp as a receiver out of the slot, as well. Grant, a Pro Bowl returner for the Chicago Bears last season, has four punt return touchdowns and two scores off kick returns during a career that began with the Miami Dolphins in 2016. Earlier this week, Browns special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said he thought Grant would "transform" Cleveland's return game. If Grant is out, the Browns will likely turn to Demetric Felton to return punts and kicks for them.
August 09
August 09

Aaron Rodgers doesn't see 'any benefit to playing one series' in a preseason game

GREEN BAY, Wis. --  Aaron Rodgers doesn't feel the need to play in the preseason, but if the Green Bay Packers quarterback does play then he really wants to play. Rodgers hasn't played a preseason snap since 2018 -- he was supposed to play one game in the summer of 2019 until the plan got scrapped because of poor field conditions in Winnipeg -- but the combination of a poor start to last season and breaking in new receivers and offensive linemen might be reason to do so this year. "I don't see any benefit to it," Rodgers said Tuesday. "I definitely don't see any benefit to playing one series. If we're going to play, we should play and play a quarter, a couple of series, two to three series. Just suiting up for four plays, to me, is a waste." Coach Matt LaFleur has already said Rodgers won't play Friday in the preseason opener at San Francisco or the Week 2 game against the Saints, but he has not ruled him out of the preseason finale at Kansas City. "I'm not...
August 09
August 09

Washington Commanders fire DL coach Sam Mills after 'difference of philosophy'

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Commanders fired defensive line coach Sam Mills on Tuesday, with coach Ron Rivera citing a "difference of philosophy." Jeff Zgonina, who played one season with Mills' father in the NFL, will replace him. Zgonina had served as Mills' assistant the past two seasons. Rivera didn't elaborate on what he meant by a philosophical difference, but said it was "just some observations. I just felt it was a change I needed to make." Mills had been with Rivera since he was hired as Carolina's head coach in 2011. Mills was an assistant defensive line coach until December 2018, when Rivera elevated him to the main role after firing Brady Hoke. Mills then came to Washington after Rivera was hired in January 2020. Mills' father, who died in 2005, was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame this past weekend. Rivera said his history with the Mills family made the decision "very difficult." "I've known Sam a long time and he's a very good...
August 09
August 09

Sources: Big Ten nears media rights agreement with Fox, CBS, NBC

The Big Ten is close to finalizing a new media rights agreement that will add CBS and NBC to the league's lineup while ending a long partnership with ESPN, according to sources. Fox will remain the Big Ten's main media partner and had representatives attend negotiations with other potential partners during the past few months. The Big Ten's six-year media rights deal with Fox and ESPN is set to expire in 2023. ESPN and the Big Ten have been partners for football media rights since the early 1980s. ABC, which, like ESPN, is owned by parent company Disney, first started televising Big Ten games in 1966. Sports Business Journal first reported the outline of the Big Ten's media agreement and ESPN being out. According to sources, ESPN rejected the Big Ten's final offer of a seven-year, $380 million agreement, which would have included rights to fewer marquee games than the network's current agreement. The offer did not include a direct-to-consumer package, which ESPN valued through its...
August 09
August 09

LIV Golf players suing the PGA Tour 'frustrating,' says Scottie Scheffler, No. 1-ranked player in the world

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A federal judge in California might decide Tuesday whether to grant a temporary restraining order that would allow three golfers who left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf to participate in the FedEx Cup playoffs, starting this week at the FedEx St. Jude Championship. Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, said he's curious to see whether Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford will be joining him at TPC Southwind this week. U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman is scheduled to hear arguments from attorneys representing the trio of LIV Golf players and the PGA Tour on Tuesday in San Jose, California. Gooch, Jones, Swafford and eight other LIV players, including Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour in federal court last week. "I'm definitely curious to see what's going to happen," Scheffler said. "It's one of those deals where those guys kind...
August 09
August 09

New York Jets coach Robert Saleh says Mekhi Becton's season likely over because of knee injury

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets right offensive tackle Mekhi Becton "more than likely" will miss the entire season because of a chip fracture in his right kneecap, coach Robert Saleh announced Tuesday. Becton, 23, drafted 11th overall in 2020, still is seeking outside medical opinions, but the expectation is that he will need surgery -- his second in the past 11 months on his right knee. "His ride is not over, his story is not over," Saleh said. Becton is under contract for 2023, due to make a fully guaranteed $3.1 million in the final year of his rookie deal. By then, he is likely to have missed 35 of a possible 50 games because of injuries. He dislocated his right kneecap in the 2021 opener, resulting in season-ending surgery. There is virtually no chance the team will exercise his fifth-year option for 2024. "Everything happens for a reason...I know God and my Grandma got me up there I JUST KNOW IT! TRUST!#IMSTILLHIM #4GK," Becton posted on...
August 09
August 09

Philadelphia Eagles' Jason Kelce has 'routine' elbow surgery to relieve discomfort

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles veteran center Jason Kelce underwent elbow surgery Tuesday as part of a "routine cleanout," the team announced. Kelce decided to have the procedure after trying to work through some lingering discomfort. There is no official timetable for his return to play, though a league source indicated it was realistic that he will be ready for the season opener against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 11. The 34-year-old Kelce has started 122 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NFL among centers. Rookie Cam Jurgens, a second-round pick out of Nebraska, has been getting second-team reps during training camp and is listed as the backup on the unofficial depth chart. Kelce was added to a growing injury report Tuesday that also includes receiver DeVonta Smith (groin), running backs Kenny Gainwell (hip) and Boston Scott (concussion) and rookie tight end Grant Calcaterra (hamstring). Left tackles ...
August 09

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