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7 minutes ago

Minnesota Lynx's Napheesa Collier makes 2022 WNBA debut less than 3 months after giving birth to daughter

Napheesa Collier made her 2022 season debut Sunday with the Minnesota Lynx less than three months after giving birth to her daughter, Mila, in late May. Collier, the 2019 WNBA rookie of the year and a former all-WNBA Second Team selection, returned to the hardwood as the Lynx (12-20) make a late push in attempt to clinch a playoff spot. Minnesota is currently in 10th place on the outside looking in with four games remaining in the regular season and 1½ games back of securing one of the remaining three spots in the postseason. Collier, 25, indicated during her pregnancy that she hoped to return at some point this summer to play alongside teammate and friend Sylvia Fowles before Fowles' impending retirement following the 2022 campaign. The Star Tribune reported Saturday that Collier practiced fully with the team that day for the first time this season and was ramping up to potentially play this week. The former UConn standout and 2020 Tokyo Olympian averaged 16.2...
7 minutes ago
3 hours ago

Chicago Bears wide receiver N'Keal Harry's ankle injury believed to be severe, source says

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears wide receiver N'Keal Harry suffered what appeared to be a severe ankle injury during Saturday's training camp practice, a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Harry, 24, went down on the first play of team drills when a screen pass went his direction. The wide receiver appeared to have his ankle rolled up when linebacker Nicholas Morrow tackled him. The receiver could not bear any weight on his left ankle and had to be helped off the field by a trainer and teammate. The team is still awaiting further evaluation on the severity of Harry's injury, and no determination has been made about how long he will be sidelined. Chicago coach Matt Eberflus is not scheduled to speak with reporters until Tuesday when the team practices at Soldier Field during the Bears' family fest. Eberflus said after practice Saturday that he did not know much about Harry's injury, only that the team would be monitoring it in the coming days. "I just...
3 hours ago
August 07

Minnesota Lynx's Napheesa Collier making 2022 WNBA debut less than 3 months after giving birth to daughter

Napheesa Collier will make her 2022 season debut Sunday with the Minnesota Lynx less than three months after giving birth to her daughter, Mila, in late May. Collier, the 2019 WNBA rookie of the year and a former all-WNBA Second Team selection, returns to the hardwood as the Lynx (12-20) make a late push in attempt to clinch a playoff spot. Minnesota is currently in 10th place on the outside looking in with four games remaining in the regular season and 1½ games back of securing one of the remaining three spots in the postseason. Collier, 25, indicated during her pregnancy that she hoped to return at some point this summer to play alongside teammate and friend Sylvia Fowles before Fowles' impending retirement following the 2022 campaign. The Star Tribune reported Saturday that Collier practiced fully with the team that day for the first time this season and was ramping up to potentially play this week. The former UConn standout and 2020 Tokyo Olympian averaged...
August 07
August 07

Pete Rose dismisses statutory rape questions at Phillies bash - 'It was 55 years ago, babe'

Pete Rose dismissed questions Sunday about his first appearance on the field in Philadelphia since the franchise scrapped plans in 2017 to honor him because of a woman's allegation that baseball's hit king had sex with her when she was a minor. "It was 55 years ago, babe," Rose told a female baseball writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Rose, 81, declined to answer any other questions in the dugout moments after a team photo in the outfield meant to celebrate the Phillies' 1980 World Series championship team and other former players. The original 1980 anniversary celebration was postponed for two seasons because of the coronavirus pandemic. The reporter tweeted later Sunday that, after the ceremony, Rose asked her if he had offended her and offered to "sign 1,000 baseballs" for forgiveness before ultimately saying he was "sorry." Rose also blew off another question from The Associated Press after the ceremony about the allegation and his comment earlier in the...
August 07
August 07

Sources: RB Kareem Hunt requests trade but Cleveland Browns decline

Running back Kareem Hunt, who is seeking a contract extension, has requested a trade from the Cleveland Browns, but the team has privately declined that request, sources confirmed to ESPN. Hunt, who is in the final year of a two-year, $12 million deal, had missed team drills the past two practices but returned to them on Sunday. The news of Hunt's trade demand was first reported by Cleveland.com. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski declined comment Sunday when asked about Hunt's trade request. "I'm not going to get into really anything that has to do with our players and conversations," he said. Stefanski also said he "won't get into that" when asked whether Hunt would be fined for sitting out team drills.  Hunt's situation adds more turmoil for the Browns, who are waiting to see how long quarterback Deshaun Watson will be suspended for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Watson was suspended for six games by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on...
August 07
August 07

Chicago White Sox's Tim Anderson has suspension cut to two games

Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson reached a settlement with the league this weekend, reducing a three-game suspension to two games after making contact with an umpire late last month. Anderson, 29, will sit out Sunday's contest against the Texas Rangers and then Tuesday's first game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals. The White Sox have the day off Monday. Leury Garcia, primarily a second baseman, was in Sunday's starting lineup at shortstop. "We just picked a day. Seemed to make the most sense,'' manager Tony La Russa said of Anderson starting the suspension before Sunday's game. Anderson's helmet made contact with umpire Nick Mahrley's cap during an argument about a strike call in a game against the Oakland Athletics on July 29. Mahrley had just kicked Anderson out of the game when the All-Star shortstop approached him, making contact. The time off might come at an opportune time for Anderson, who's 0 for his past...
August 07
August 07

Source: RB Kareem Hunt requests trade but Cleveland Browns decline

Running back Kareem Hunt, who is seeking a contract extension, has requested a trade from the Cleveland Browns, but the team has privately declined that request, a source confirmed to ESPN. Hunt, who is in the final year of a two-year, $12 million deal, has missed team drills the past two practices and has told the Browns he will not participate until he gets an extension, a league source told ESPN. The news of Hunt's trade demand was first reported by Cleveland.com. Hunt's situation adds more turmoil for the Browns, who are waiting to see how long quarterback Deshaun Watson will be suspended for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Watson was suspended for six games by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson on Monday, but the NFL appealed the ruling Wednesday, seeking a tougher penalty. Hunt, 27, has been productive during his three seasons for Cleveland, but he missed nine games last season with calf and ankle injuries and finished with...
August 07
August 07

Top welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr. stops Michael McKinson to extend KO streak

Vergil Ortiz Jr. looked across the ring on Saturday night and saw one of boxing's bureaucratic speed bumps. In order for Ortiz to inch closer to a crack at a legitimate boxing championship, he had to first defeat Michael McKinson, who was modestly ranked by a couple of the sport's sanctioning bodies. It's going to take more than a speed bump to slow Ortiz down. Ortiz extended his strong start to the year and won via technical decision with a ninth-round stoppage at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. And with his 19th knockout in as many fights, Ortiz showed why he's one of the top welterweight contenders in the world -- even if he didn't feel like he was at his best. "The first seven rounds, I didn't really do anything good," Ortiz said in the postfight interview with DAZN. "I had to adjust big time. I should have listened to my corner from the beginning. But I listened and we got it done." Ortiz and McKinson were initially scheduled to fight in March. The fight was postponed...
August 07
August 07

Top welterweight contender Vergil Ortiz Jr. stops Matthew McKinson to extend KO streak

Vergil Ortiz Jr. looked across the ring on Saturday night and saw one of boxing's bureaucratic speed bumps. In order for Ortiz to inch closer to a crack at a legitimate boxing championship, he had to first defeat Matthew McKinson, who was modestly ranked by a couple of the sport's sanctioning bodies. It's going to take more than a speed bump to slow Ortiz down. Ortiz extended the strong start to the year and won via technical decision with a ninth-round stoppage at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. And with his 19th knockout in as many fights, Ortiz showed why he's one of the top welterweight contenders in the world -- even if he didn't feel like he was at his best. "The first seven rounds, I didn't really do anything good," Ortiz said in the post-fight interview with DAZN. "I had to adjust big time. I should have listened to my corner from the beginning. But I listened and we got it done." Saturday's bout just a few miles away from Ortiz's hometown of Grand Prairie was...
August 07
August 07

Bobby Bonilla's infamous New York Mets contract sold for $180K at auction

Bobby Bonilla's infamous contract with the New York Mets is still being paid out -- in more ways than one. The addendum to Bonilla's contract, the deferred compensation agreement, has sold via collectibles marketplace Goldin for $180,000, including buyer's premium. The auction closed late Saturday night. Bonilla, of course, is owed $1,193,248.20 from the Mets every July 1 -- known throughout the sports world as "Bobby Bonilla Day" -- through 2035 as part of the most infamous deferred payment contract in American professional sports history. Bonilla will be 72 when the payments are complete. The auction winner also receives 30-minute Zoom calls with Bonilla and, separately, Dennis Gilbert, the agent who brokered Bonilla's deferment deal. He also gets a signed baseball, a game-used bat from Bonilla's personal collection and a 1-of-1 Bobby Bonilla contract NFT. On top of all that, the winner will spend a day with Bonilla in New York, including breakfast, a trip to Citi...
August 07
August 07

Jordan Montgomery dazzles in debut for St. Louis Cardinals, blanks New York Yankees less than a week after being dealt

Jordan Montgomery was open and honest with reporters when asked about his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals and how he needed to face his former team less than a week after being traded. "It's not exactly what you want to do for your first time being in a new organization," the former starter for the New York Yankees said Friday. "But I'm a competitor." On Saturday, he showed it. Montgomery blanked his old teammates over five innings, and Nolan Arenado drove in the lone run as the Cardinals handed the Yankees their season-high fourth straight loss, 1-0. "It's tough to throw against a team you just left. For him to do what he did was pretty special," St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. "He had nine ground ball outs. A really good job by Jordan." Montgomery (4-3), who after the win said he had a cramp in his hamstring because of dehydration, was taken out after five innings for precautionary reasons. He gave up two hits and a walk with one...
August 07
August 06

Jordan Montgomery dazzles in debut for St. Louis Cardinals, blanks New York Yankees less than a week after being dealt

ST. LOUIS -- Jordan Montgomery was open and honest with reporters when asked about his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals and how he needed to face his former team less than a week after being traded. "It's not exactly what you want to do for your first time being in a new organization," the former starter for the New York Yankees said on Friday. "But I'm a competitor." On Saturday, he showed it. Montgomery blanked his old teammates over five innings and Nolan Arenado drove in the lone run as the Cardinals handed the Yankees their season-high fourth straight loss, 1-0. "It's tough to throw against a team you just left. For him to do what he did was pretty special," St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol concurred. "He had nine groundball outs. A really good job by Jordan." Montgomery (4-3), who after the win said he had a cramp in his hamstring because of dehydration, was taken out after five innings for precautionary reasons. He gave up two...
August 06
August 06

Los Angeles Rams' Matthew Stafford impresses at practice, downplays 'irritating' elbow issue

IRVINE, Calif. -- After making several deep throws and even a no-look pass during practice Saturday, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said he felt like he could make any throw he wanted to. Stafford, who dealt with an elbow injury last season, received an injection in his right elbow during the offseason and did not throw during the Rams' spring workouts. On Thursday, coach Sean McVay said Stafford's injury is "a little bit abnormal for a quarterback," but reiterated that the Rams had planned a "modified approach and a progressive build" with him during training camp. "I just have a little soreness," Stafford said Saturday. "We're working through it. I feel pretty good today. I thought it looked pretty good. But just trying to be smart with it and making me feel as good as I can feel going into Week 1 while still getting as many reps I can, too." Stafford declined to go into detail about his elbow soreness, saying he's "just going through something...
August 06
August 06

'I'm back': Michael Conlan responds to first professional defeat, outlasts Miguel Marriaga

Michael Conlan responded to his first professional boxing defeat by scoring three knockdowns on his way to a dominant points win over Miguel Marriaga on Saturday. Conlan (17-1, 8 KOs), from Belfast, Northern Ireland, revived his hopes of fighting for a world title with this unanimous decision (99-88, 98-88, 99-89) over experienced Colombian Marriaga in a 10-round nontitle contest. Conlan, 30, was knocked out (and out of the ring) by WBA "regular" champion Leigh Wood in the last round five months ago, but got his career back on track with this confidence-boosting win in front of his home fans at SSE Arena in Belfast. "I got rid of a lot of demons in the last round," Conlan said. "I had to be careful and use my shots. I got caught in the last round, for me to come through that says a lot, and I'm back. I want Lee Wood, but any other champion, whoever I face I know I will beat them." Marriaga (30-6, 26 KOs) has now lost two in a row but was upset with the knockdowns, insisting he...
August 06
August 06

QB Lamar Jackson among Baltimore Ravens stars sitting out preseason opener

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Star quarterback Lamar Jackson is among a handful of experienced front-line players who are being held out of Baltimore's Thursday night preseason opener, coach John Harbaugh said Saturday. This decision comes a year after the Ravens lost running back J.K. Dobbins to a season-ending knee injury after he played only one series in the preseason finale. This also continues the team's trend of trying to reduce the risk of injury after 25 players went on injured reserve at some point last season. Baltimore has decreased the number of full-contact team drills at this year's training camp. Harbaugh also said four other players won't play in the preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans: tight end Mark Andrews, cornerback Marlon Humphrey, outside linebacker Justin Houston and safety Marcus Williams. "I think you can kind of extrapolate who will play and who won't," Harbaugh said. Harbaugh declined...
August 06
August 06

Former San Francisco 49er Bryant Young's emotional tribute to his son highlights Hall of Fame induction

CANTON, Ohio -- Being part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 holds a special -- and painful -- meaning for former  San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Bryant Young. It's an emotional reminder of his son Colby, who died of cancer Oct. 11, 2016. Colby's favorite number, his dad said during his induction speech Saturday afternoon at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, was 22. "In this, my 10th year of eligibility, I enter the Hall as a member of this '22," Young said, his voice cracking. "2022. 22." Young's voice broke even more when he spoke about how his son, diagnosed at age 13 in 2014, bravely handled the news after being told in 2016 that the cancer had spread and the treatments were no longer working. It was a powerful moment that caused the crowd to give Young a standing ovation. "Colby sensed where things were headed," Young said. "He didn't fear death as much as the process of dying. Would it be painful? Would he be remembered? "Colby ... you live on in...
August 06
August 06

Welterweight Josh Quinlan pulled from UFC Fight Night following drug test

UFC welterweight Josh Quinlan was pulled from his UFC Fight Night bout Saturday due to an atypical drug finding, the UFC announced. USADA, the UFC's anti-doping partner, detected a trace amount of the long-term metabolite (or M3 metabolite) of the steroid dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (DHCMT) in a Quinlan urine sample, the promotion said. The amount in Quinlan's system did not result in a UFC anti-doping violation. However, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has removed Quinlan from his scheduled fight Saturday in Las Vegas, pending a hearing to further look at the situation. This has been a common procedure for the NSAC with regard to fighters who have had the M3 metabolite of DHCMT found in their system, including former UFC light heavyweight champion  Jon Jones. In January 2021, the UFC and its anti-doping partner USADA changed its policy on DHCMT, issuing violations only for fighters who have more than 100 ng/ml in their system. The reasoning is...
August 06
August 06

Chicago Bears OT Teven Jenkins returns to practice, denies clashing with coaches

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears offensive tackle Teven Jenkins returned to training camp Saturday after missing seven straight practices with an undisclosed injury. Jenkins, who is in a ramp up period, only participated in individual drills. The second-year lineman would not disclose specifics of his injury, including whether he got hurt during the team's first practice July 27, whether he's still dealing with back issues after undergoing surgery last offseason and what he's currently recovering from, but estimated that he should be at 100% full health in "a couple of days." "It feels really good and I'm not having any discomfort right now, so it's really good," Jenkins said after going through Saturday's practice. "If I had to give myself a percent, probably around 90% and it's just about working my body back into the feeling of football back again and getting back to that 100% of 'this is football' and get ready to go." Jenkins said he's been in the training...
August 06
August 06

New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas participates in 11-on-11 drills for first time since 2020

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas took the next step in his return to football on Saturday. Thomas participated in 11-on-11 drills for the first time since the end of the 2020 season, continuing a ramp-up process that has been ongoing since the offseason started. Thomas was only a spectator at OTAs in June, but he was able to practice on Day 1 of training camp and returned to 7-on-7 drills on Wednesday. So far it's been all positive signs for his recovery from the injury to his left ankle, which required surgery to repair a torn deltoid and other injured ligaments. Thomas has not been at 100 percent since he was injured in the 2020 season opener and has not been a full participant in practice since the end of that season. Thomas missed the 2021 offseason after having surgery on the ankle and did not return to play during the regular season last year after a midseason setback. Saints coach Dennis Allen said on Friday that Thomas' return to team drills was...
August 06
August 06

New York Giants rookie offensive lineman Marcus McKethan suffers season-ending knee injury

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --  New York Giants rookie offensive lineman Marcus McKethan is expected to miss the 2022 season with a torn ACL in his right knee, the team confirmed Saturday. This was the fear after he was carted off the previous day during a scrimmage at MetLife Stadium. McKethan was placed on the reserve/injured list, ending his season. McKethan, a fifth-round pick out of North Carolina earlier this year, was working at right tackle with the second team at the time of the injury. He was primarily being used as a guard this summer but the Giants have been short on linemen because of injuries and depth concerns. The 6-foot-7, 335-pound rookie was injured during Friday night's Fan Fest scrimmage. He crumbled to the ground while trying to anchor and rolled around in pain. Coach Brian Daboll confirmed afterwards it was a lower leg injury. The cart came on the field almost immediately, and McKethan's teammates all came over to wish him well. So did Daboll....
August 06
August 06

No 'major decision' on Carolina Panthers QBs Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold before second preseason game, coach says

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The Carolina Panthers won't make what coach Matt Rhule called a "major decision" on any position, particularly between quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold, until after the Aug. 19 preseason game at New England. Even then, Rhule might not make a decision if one hasn't clearly separated from the other after two joint practices in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and the game. "I'm not putting a timetable on the quarterback position until after we get back from the Patriots week," Rhule said after Saturday's scrimmage in which neither quarterback had a decisive advantage. "The Patriots week is a true litmus test for us. That will really show us where guys are." Meanwhile, the Panthers may have lost defensive end Marquis Haynes for an extended period of time with a left knee injury suffered while working with the first team. Carolina already was thin at that position and had made a run at veteran Carlos Dunlap, who...
August 06
August 06

No 'major decision' on Carolina Panthers QB battle between Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold before second preseason game, coach says

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- The Carolina Panthers won't make what coach Matt Rhule called a "major decision" on any position, particularly the battle between quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold, until after the Aug. 19 preseason game at New England. Even then, Rhule might not declare a winner if one hasn't clearly separated from the other after two joint practices in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and the game. "I'm not putting a timetable on the quarterback position until after we get back from the Patriots week," Rhule said after Saturday's scrimmage in which neither quarterback had a decisive advantage. "The Patriots week is a true litmus test for us. That will really show us where guys are." Meanwhile, the Panthers may have lost defensive end Marquis Haynes for an extended period of time with a left knee injury suffered while working with the first team. Carolina already was thin at that position and had made a run at veteran Carlos...
August 06
August 06

Los Angeles Dodgers honor Vin Scully with pregame ceremony at Dodger Stadium

LOS ANGELES --  Dodgers manager Dave Roberts ended a pregame ceremony honoring broadcaster Vin Scully by running the crowd through a chorus of Scully's famous line, "It's time for Dodger baseball." Scully, who called Dodgers games for 67 years and retired in 2016, died Tuesday at age 94. "It speaks to how much love the Dodger family has for Vin," Roberts said. "It was a special moment." Behind a beautiful blue sky, there was a moment of silence at Dodger Stadium on Friday for the lovable Scully, followed by a video narrated by Dodgers broadcaster Charley Steiner and accompanied by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole's memorable version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Scully once described a beautiful night as "a cotton candy sky with a canopy of blue." He was the soundtrack of baseball games for generations of Dodgers fans and a masterful storyteller. Roberts said Scully wouldn't have liked all the attention. "Vin, as he's looking down on us right now, well, he hated the...
August 06
August 05

San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. progressing, set to begin rehab assignment

LOS ANGELES --  Fernando Tatis Jr. took part in his third session of live batting practice from Dodger Stadium early Friday afternoon and was scheduled to fly to San Antonio to join the  San Diego Padres' Double-A affiliate later that night, beginning a rehab assignment this weekend. Tatis, 23, has spent all season rehabbing from surgery to his left wrist but has basically reached the end of his recovery and is now focused on getting his timing back and his legs underneath him. Tatis underwent what was expected to be a final scan of the scaphoid bone that sustained a fracture early in the offseason, and Padres manager Bob Melvin said "everything looks good." Tatis, who has displayed encouraging signs in prior hitting sessions, could be a week or two away from returning. "I don't think we have a set amount of at-bats," Melvin said when asked about the length of Tatis' rehab assignment. "And also, you'd like to get a guy back here when he's swinging the bat pretty...
August 05
August 05

San Diego Padres' star Fernando Tatis Jr. progressing, set to begin rehab assignment

LOS ANGELES --  Fernando Tatis Jr. took part in his third live-batting-practice session from Dodger Stadium early Friday afternoon and was scheduled to fly to San Antonio to join the  San Diego Padres' Double-A affiliate later that night, beginning a rehab assignment this weekend. Tatis, 23, has spent all season rehabbing from surgery to his left wrist but has basically reached the end of his recovery and is now focused on getting his timing back and his legs underneath him. Tatis underwent what was expected to be a final scan of the scaphoid bone that sustained a fracture early in the offseason, and Padres manager Bob Melvin said "everything looks good." Tatis, who has displayed encouraging signs in prior hitting sessions, could be a week or two away from returning. "I don't think we have a set amount of at-bats," Melvin said when asked about the length of Tatis' rehab assignment. "And also, you'd like to get a guy back here when he's swinging the bat pretty well...
August 05
August 05

DeMaryius Thomas died of seizure disorder complications, according to autopsy report

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas died from "complications of a seizure disorder," according to an autopsy report from the Fulton County (Ga.) Medical Examiner's office. Portions of the report were shared with ESPN on Friday. Thomas was found dead in his Roswell, Georgia, home on Dec. 9 at age 33, and an autopsy was performed the following day. In December, the medical examiner's office released a statement that "the cause and manner of death are pending the completion of laboratory studies and microscopic tissue samples." In the final report, the medical examiner said the manner of Thomas' death remains undetermined and it was unknown if the seizure disorder was the result of natural causes or due to impacts to Thomas' head during his NFL career. Last month, researchers at Boston University told ABC News that Thomas had suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease, but said that CTE had not...
August 05
August 05

Miguel Cabrera of Detroit Tigers clarifies stance on future, says he'll return next season as initially planned

Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera set the record straight regarding his future Friday, telling The Detroit News that he will indeed return for a 21st major league season in 2023.  A day earlier, the 39-year-old Cabrera indicated to reporters that this season may be his last as he continues to deal with knee issues. It marked the first time that Cabrera had opened the door to the possibility that he may not play next year after previously saying he planned to fulfill his contract, which is fully guaranteed through the 2023 season.  But Cabrera said Friday his plan of playing next year hasn't changed.  "I'm not going to retire," he told the News. "Not until after next year when my contract is done. They didn't understand what I said. No way am I going to quit." Cabrera joined the 3,000-hit/500-homer club earlier in the season, and was hitting .308 as recently as July 8. But he's struggled since, hitting .131 with three extra-base hits in his last 21...
August 05
August 05

Israel Adesanya to defend middleweight title vs. Alex Pereira in UFC 281 headliner

The UFC has its Madison Square Garden main event. Israel Adesanya will defend his UFC middleweight title against old rival Alex Pereira in the headliner of UFC 281 on Nov. 12 in New York, Adesanya announced Friday on SportsCenter. Pereira owns two wins over Adesanya in kickboxing, including one via knockout. ESPN has Adesanya ranked tied for third on its pound-for-pound MMA list. At middleweight, Adesanya is No. 1 and Pereira is No. 7. Pereira, a former two-division Glory Kickboxing champion, beat Adesanya in kickboxing once by decision in 2016 and then again a year later via knockout. Adesanya (23-1) is undefeated in his career at middleweight. The Nigerian-born New Zealand resident has won three straight since falling in a light heavyweight title bout to Jan Blachowicz in March 2021. Adesanya, 33, owns five successful title defenses at middleweight, holding the undisputed title since October 2019. Pereira (6-1) is coming off a first-round knockout of ...
August 05
August 05

Los Angeles Dodgers place Clayton Kershaw on injured list

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday placed left-hander Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day injured list, a day after he left his start at San Francisco with lower back pain. Kershaw had an X-ray and an MRI on Friday, but manager Dave Roberts didn't know the results of the MRI prior to Los Angeles' game against San Diego. Roberts said Kershaw was sore on Friday. "Hopefully it's going to be shorter than longer," Roberts said. Roberts said he's hesitant to give a timeline until they have results of the MRI but noted that he expects him to be back in time to make a few starts before the postseason. The team activated utility man Chris Taylor (foot) from the injured list, recalled right-hander Reyes Moronta and optioned outfielder James Outman. Kershaw said he felt discomfort while he was warming up before the bottom of the fifth inning Thursday. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner winced and pointed to his dugout, and then walked off the field...
August 05
August 05

USC hires Ed Stewart, Big 12 executive, to football administration role

Ed Stewart, one of the top officials in the Big 12, is leaving for a new job at USC. Stewart, the Big 12's executive associate commissioner, is being hired as USC's executive senior associate athletic director for football administration. His job duties will include oversight of USC's football program, sources told ESPN. Stewart spent 16 years at the Big 12 and served as the league's lead football administrator, arriving there in 2006. According to sources, he is well respected around the league and part of his motivation for moving to the campus side is to work toward becoming an athletic director. Stewart is a former football captain at Nebraska on the 1994 national title team, and his name emerged in that school's athletic director search in the past year. Prior to Stewart's time at the Big 12, he served as Missouri football's administrative liaison as an associate athletic director. He spent seven years on campus at Missouri from 1999 to 2006 and two...
August 05
August 05

Cain Velasquez, former UFC champion, pleads not guilty to attempted murder charge

Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez pleaded not guilty Friday in an attempted murder case in Santa Clara (California) County, his attorney Mark Geragos told ESPN. Velasquez, 40, is being charged with attempted murder and 10 other gun-related charges stemming from an incident where he allegedly chased down a man, Harry Goularte -- who is being charged with molesting a young relative of Velasquez -- and shooting a gun into Goularte's vehicle, hitting Goularte's stepfather, Paul Bender. Velasquez has been in jail since Feb. 28 and has been denied bail on three separate occasions. A pre-trial hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 26, where Geragos is expecting to be able to get witnesses to testify, the attorney said. If the case is not dismissed at that point, he said, it would then go to trial, which could begin before the end of the year. Geragos said the prosecution will not be calling Goularte to testify at the pre-trial hearing or at...
August 05
August 05

Cleveland Browns sticking with QB prep plan despite NFL's appeal of Deshaun Watson's 6-game suspension

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Friday that the team is waiting to see what happens with the NFL's appeal of Deshaun Watson's six-game suspension before altering its plans at quarterback in practice. To this point in training camp, Watson has gotten the overwhelming majority of the snaps with the first-team offense; backup Jacoby Brissett has mostly worked with the second team. "We'll just kind of await clarity on the situation," Stefanski said before Friday's practice. "Just continue to move ahead with what we're doing." Stefanski was speaking for the first time since the NFL announced Wednesday that it was appealing the ruling of disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, a former federal judge, as it seeks a tougher penalty under the league's personal conduct policy. "The NFL's appeal addresses whether, based on the findings made by Judge Robinson, the discipline should be modified to include a professional evaluation and...
August 05
August 05

Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow still involved in camp despite being out indefinitely following appendectomy

CINCINNATI -- Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow remains out indefinitely after undergoing an appendectomy at the beginning of training camp. Bengals coach Zac Taylor said he doesn't have a timetable for Burrow's on-field return. "I hate to put a timeline on it," Taylor said Friday. "But he's getting a lot of good mental work right now." The third-year quarterback and top overall pick in the 2020 draft hasn't participated in any practices since the Bengals started training camp last week. But Burrow remains visible and active during the preparation for the upcoming season. Taylor said Burrow is involved in team meetings, even leading some of them like he did before Friday's practice. When asked if Burrow could be used to signal playcalls like Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is doing during their respective camp, Taylor said that wasn't necessary. "He's been plenty engaged," Taylor said. "I don't think we need that to stimulate him. He does...
August 05
August 05

San Francisco 49ers' Kyle Shanahan draws line on toughness after players throw punches in practice

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- After halting practice for a second time because of a brawl Tuesday, coach Kyle Shanahan called for his team to huddle up. He promptly delivered some choice words about what had just transpired. Underneath the anger was a simple message about how Shanahan wants his team to play. Physical? Absolutely. Tough? Of course. Irritating? Sure. But Shanahan wants the Niners to draw the line at throwing punches, which happened twice in that Tuesday practice -- namely between star middle linebacker Fred Warner and receiver Brandon Aiyuk. "I want everyone challenging each other," Shanahan said Friday. "I don't care how much crap each other talks; I don't care how close they get to fighting. They can do whatever they want to get themselves to be as intense as they want and bring the best out of each other, which happens a lot that way. And it's the same on the field. "But once you throw a punch, you get ejected or you get a penalty, and we pride...
August 05
August 05

James Saxon, assistant coach for Arizona Cardinals, facing two domestic battery charges stemming from alleged incident in May

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The  Arizona Cardinals have placed running backs coach James Saxon on paid administrative leave as he awaits a court date on domestic battery charges. Saxon was charged May 25 in Indianapolis with two counts of domestic battery, including a Level 6 felony for allegedly assaulting a woman in front of a child younger than 16 years old. "We are aware of the incident and notified the NFL as required," the Cardinals said in a statement on Friday. "The matter is currently under review pursuant to league policies. ... We will have no further comment pending additional proceedings." Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury on Friday said the team was aware of the situation when it happened. The charges against Saxon stem from an alleged incident May 7 that started with an argument at an Indianapolis-area Costco and continued at the home of the woman, according to the probable cause affidavit.  Saxon's case is in a holding pattern until Aug. 25, when an attorney...
August 05
August 05

Sources: USC hires Ed Stewart, Big 12 executive, to oversee football program

Ed Stewart, one of the top officials in the Big 12, is leaving for a new job at USC, according to ESPN sources. Stewart, the Big 12's executive associate commissioner, is being hired as USC's executive senior associate athletic director. His job duties will include oversight of USC's football program, according to sources. Stewart spent 16 years at the Big 12 and served as the league's lead football administrator, arriving there in 2006. According to sources, he is well respected around the league and part of his motivation for moving to the campus side is to work toward becoming an athletic director. Stewart is a former football captain at Nebraska on the 1994 national title team, and his name emerged in that school's athletic director search in the past year. Prior to Stewart's time at the Big 12, he served as Missouri football's administrative liaison as an associate athletic director. He spent seven years on campus at Missouri from 1999 to 2006 and...
August 05
August 05

Brittney Griner's nine-year prison sentence 'compounds the injustice' against her, Secretary of State Antony Blinken says

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the nine-year sentence given to WNBA star Brittney Griner "compounds the injustice" she has gone through in Russia since her arrest earlier this year. "It puts a spotlight on our very significant turn with Russia's legal system and the Russian government's use of wrongful detentions to advance its own agenda using individuals as political pawns," Blinken said Friday at a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia. Griner was convicted Thursday, sentenced to nine years in prison and fined 1 million rubles (about $16,700). She had been arrested Feb. 17 at a Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage. The verdict and sentencing were expected steps toward a swap to bring Griner back to the United States, as Russia was not going to move forward with a trade until her trial was completed. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov appeared to confirm that Friday...
August 05
August 05

Shani Davis on Colbert: 'He's a jerk'

CALGARY, Alberta -- Stephen Colbert's Canadian-bashing isn't sitting well with at least one American speedskating star. "He's a jerk," Shani Davis said Thursday when asked for his take on the comedian's criticism of Canadians. "You can put that in the paper." Davis declined to elaborate, making the comment while vetting potential questions from The Canadian Press before rejecting an interview request and walking away. Davis has ties to Canada from training out of Calgary in the past, and has also had past differences with U.S. Speedskating, which is now being sponsored by the comedian who hosts the "The Colbert Report." Publicists for Colbert did not respond to requests for comment. Colbert stepped into a void for the American skaters after the team was left with a $300,000 shortfall when Dutch bank DSB declared bankruptcy and pulled out of its sponsorship. He put up a fundraising link on his Web site -- a similar plan helped raise hundreds...
August 05
August 05

Jacksonville Jaguars' Travon Walker debuts, gets first sack in Hall of Fame game

CANTON, Ohio --  Jacksonville Jaguars rookie  Travon Walker wasted no time making an impact in his first NFL game. Walker, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft, played only two series in his team's 27-11 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Thursday night, but he recorded a sack and had another pressure in what he says was just a glimpse of what he will eventually be able to consistently do for years. "It was definitely exciting, just to be out there on an NFL roster, out there on an NFL team playing with other NFL players," Walker said. "Something that I'll always remember [will be] my first snap." That's when Walker first flashed some of the reasons the Jaguars elected to take him over more proven pass-rusher Aidan Hutchinson, who went second to the Detroit Lions. He bull-rushed Raiders left tackle Brandon Parker and got to quarterback Jarrett Stidham as he released the ball....
August 05
August 05

Calgary Flames sign Jonathan Huberdeau to 8-year, $84 million extension

The Calgary Flames have signed newly acquired forward  Jonathan Huberdeau to an eight-year, $84 million contract extension, the team announced Thursday night. "I'm thrilled to be part of the Calgary Flames organization long-term," Huberdeau said in a statement. "I'm excited for this new chapter and I am committed to this team. I'll give everything I have, on and off the ice and I can't wait to play in front of the passionate Flames fans." The Flames acquired Huberdeau from Florida last month in a blockbuster package that sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Panthers. The trade left Calgary without its two leading scorers from this past season. Johnny Gaudreau, who led the Flames with 115 points, signed a seven-year deal with Columbus as a free agent. Huberdeau, 29, had 30 goals and 85 assists for 115 points last season with Florida, finishing tied for second for the most points in the NHL scoring race, including a league-leading 85 assists. The...
August 05
August 05

Calgary Flames, Jonathan Huberdeau agree to 8-year, $84 million extension

The Calgary Flames have signed newly acquired forward  Jonathan Huberdeau to an eight-year, $84 million contract extension, the team announced on Thursday. "I'm thrilled to be part of the Calgary Flames organization long-term," Huberdeau said in a statement. "I'm excited for this new chapter and I am committed to this team. I'll give everything I have, on and off the ice and I can't wait to play in front of the passionate Flames fans." The Flames acquired Huberdeau from Florida last month in a blockbuster package that sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Panthers. The trade left Calgary without its two leading scorers from this past season. Johnny Gaudreau, who led the Flames with 115 points, signed a seven-year deal with Columbus as a free agent. Huberdeau, 29, is Florida's career leader in games, assists and points. He had 30 goals and 85 assists for 115 points last season with Florida, finishing tied for second for the most points in the NHL...
August 05
August 04

Calgary Flames, Jonathan Huberdeau putting final touches on 8-year, $84 million extension

The Calgary Flames have signed newly acquired forward  Jonathan Huberdeau to an eight-year, $84 million contract extension, the team announced on Thursday. "I'm thrilled to be part of the Calgary Flames organization long-term," Huberdeau said in a statement. "I'm excited for this new chapter and I am committed to this team. I'll give everything I have, on and off the ice and I can't wait to play in front of the passionate Flames fans." The Flames acquired Huberdeau from Florida last month in a blockbuster package that sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Panthers. The trade left Calgary without its two leading scorers from this past season. Johnny Gaudreau, who led the Flames with 115 points, signed a seven-year deal with Columbus as a free agent. Huberdeau, 29, is Florida's career leader in games, assists and points. He had 30 goals and 85 assists for 115 points last season with Florida, finishing tied for second for the most points in the NHL...
August 04
August 04

Roger Goodell picks former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey to hear NFL's appeal of Deshaun Watson suspension

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has chosen former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey to hear the appeal of the six-game suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. The NFL is seeking a tougher penalty under the league's personal conduct policy in the wake of disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson's ruling Monday. Under the collective bargaining agreement, Goodell had the option to consider the appeal himself or to appoint a designee. The league is appealing for an indefinite suspension that would be a minimum of one year (as it had previously sought), a source told ESPN, as well as a monetary fine (which Watson was not levied by Robinson) and treatment that the star quarterback must undergo. "The NFL's appeal addresses whether, based on the findings made by Judge Robinson, the discipline should be modified to include a professional evaluation and treatment as determined by medical experts, an appropriate fine, and a longer suspension," the...
August 04
August 04

Los Angeles Angels equal dubious MLB milestone with 7 home runs hit in losing cause

The Los Angeles Angels tied a dubious major league record when they smashed seven home runs -- all solo shots -- but still lost to the Oakland Athletics 8-7 on Thursday in Anaheim, California. The Angels are just the second team to hit seven solo homers and lose, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. They're also the first team in the majors to hit seven solo homers and score no other runs in a game. "I guess they always say solo home runs don't beat you, but you feel like if you hit seven, you might. It didn't work out for us,'' Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. Shohei Ohtani, who left Wednesday night's game due to a left forearm cramp, bounced back with two of the homers and two RBIs. It was his 11th multihomer game in the majors and fifth this season. Kurt Suzuki, Taylor Ward, Jo Adell and Jared Walsh also went deep for the Angels, who went 2-5 on their homestand. The seven homers also ties an overall franchise...
August 04
August 04

Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James hold 'productive' contract extension talks

LOS ANGELES --  LeBron James and the Lakers had a "productive" discussion about their future together on Thursday, Rich Paul, CEO of Klutch Sports Group, told ESPN. No new deal has been agreed upon yet, however, sources said. James and Paul met with Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka as well as new Lakers coach Darvin Ham in the war room at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo, California, on Thursday. It was the first day James was eligible to sign a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension with the Lakers. Paul told ESPN he expects both sides to continue a dialogue moving forward. James is entering his contract's final year, worth $44.5 million, and will be 38 years old when his current deal is up. The maximum length of a contract a player aged 38 or older can sign is two years, according to the NBA's collective bargaining agreement. James has until June 30 to sign the extension before becoming an...
August 04
August 04

Phoenix Mercury, Connecticut Sun observe 42 seconds of silence for Brittney Griner

Members of the Phoenix Mercury and Connecticut Sun stood arm-in-arm in a circle at halfcourt before Thursday night's WNBA game at Mohegan Sun Arena to observe "a 42-second moment of solidarity" for Mercury center Brittney Griner. A Russian court sentenced Griner to nine years in prison earlier Thursday after she was found guilty of drug trafficking. She was arrested Feb. 17 for bringing cannabis into the country, where she has long competed during the WNBA's off-season. Many players on both teams wiped away tears during the emotional pregame ceremony, which called for the release of Griner and other Americans being detained in Russia. As the players locked arms at halfcourt, the Sun's public address announcer said the teams hoped "to recognize the gravity of the moment and collectively send [Griner] strength." "We're inspired everyday by BG's strength, and we are steadfastly committed to keeping her top of mind publicly until she is safely back on American soil," the PA...
August 04
August 04

Detroit Tigers legend Miguel Cabrera uncertain if he'll play beyond this season

Detroit Tigers great Miguel Cabrera for the first time on Thursday said this may be the final season in his Hall of Fame career. Cabrera, whose battled health issues in 2022, had previously stated he wanted to play through the end of the 2023 season, when he's owed $32 million in the final fully guaranteed year of his contract.  "I've got to talk to my agent, I've got to talk to the GM, I'm got to talk to everybody [to] see what's going to be the plan for next year," Cabrera told reporters ahead of Detroit's game against the visiting  Tampa Bay Rays. "Right now we don't know. We're focused on today. We're going to go day by day and see what happens. I don't think about next year. I'm thinking about trying to finish healthy this year." The 39-year-old said he has been playing through knee pain in recent weeks and will be limited to just every other day during Detroit's six-game homestand. "You've got to understand your body," Cabrera said. "I understand my body...
August 04
August 04

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay says Matthew Stafford's elbow pain 'abnormal for a quarterback'

IRVINE, Calif. -- Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay said quarterback  Matthew Stafford's right elbow pain is "a little bit abnormal for a quarterback," comparing it instead to what pitchers deal with. Stafford, who dealt with an elbow injury last season, received an injection in his right elbow during the offseason. He did not throw during the Rams' spring workouts, saying he and the team were trying to be smart with his throwing arm. Stafford threw during individual and 7-on-7 drills on Thursday but did not take part in the team reps. McVay said earlier in the week that he doesn't expect Stafford to do so before the Rams leave Irvine on Aug. 10. McVay said the Rams' athletic training staff and Stafford "tried some things in the offseason" with the goal of alleviating some of the pain he was feeling in his elbow. McVay said going into camp the Rams knew they wanted to have a "modified approach and a progressive build." "Could he do it? Yes," McVay said. "Is that...
August 04
August 04

Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James hold 'productive' contract extension talks

LOS ANGELES --  LeBron James and the Lakers had a "productive" discussion about their future together on Thursday, Rich Paul, CEO of Klutch Sports Group, told ESPN. No new deal has been agreed upon yet, however, sources said. James and Paul met with Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka as well as new Lakers coach Darvin Ham in the war room at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo, California, on Thursday. It was the first day James was eligible to sign a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension with the Lakers. Paul told ESPN he expects both sides to continue a dialogue moving forward. James is entering his contract's final year, worth $44.5 million, and will be 38 years old when his current deal is up. The maximum length of a contract a player aged 38 or older can sign is two years, according to the NBA's collective bargaining agreement. James has until June 30 to sign the extension before becoming an...
August 04
August 04

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw leaves start early because of low back pain

SAN FRANCISCO -- Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw left his start Thursday at San Francisco because of low back pain, the team said. Manager Dave Roberts said after the 4-2 win that Kershaw's back tightened on him after a warm-up pitch before the bottom of the fifth inning. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner winced and pointed to the dugout, and then he walked off the field gingerly with a trainer. Roberts said Kershaw will get testing in Los Angeles on Friday. Kershaw said he didn't feel any back pain until the fifth inning. "Just felt something kind of lock up there in the fifth and couldn't really throw after that," he said. The 34-year-old Kershaw made 66 pitches through four innings, allowing one earned run and three hits with four strikeouts. He left with a 4-2 lead. Kershaw spent time on the injured list earlier this season due to inflammation in a pelvic joint. He was 7-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts entering Thursday's...
August 04

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