SCOREBOARD

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Texas 5 Houston 0

THURSDAY’S BOX SCORES: https://www.mlb.com/scores

 

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Indianapolis 5 Columbus 4

Wisconsin 1 Dayton 0

South Bend 2 Kane County 1

Burlington 5 Fort Wayne 0

 

NBA SUMMER LEAGUE

Toronto 94 Indiana 79

Washington 76 Atlanta 71

Oklahoma City 92 Portland 87

Houston 87 Utah 78

LA Clippers 83 Sacramento 80

Boston 113 Memphis 87

THURSDAY’S BOX SCORES: https://www.nba.com/summerleague/2019/scores#/

 

TOP HEADLINES

Russell Westbrook going to Rockets for Chris Paul

Russell Westbrook and James Harden are together again, and Chris Paul is leaving Houston to make that reunion happen.

A person with knowledge of the situation says the Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Paul in a swapping of top point guards. The Thunder also are getting first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, plus the right to swap first-rounders in two other seasons, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the trade has not been announced.

ESPN first reported the agreement.

Paul is a nine-time All-Star, Westbrook an eight-time selection. Paul has 9,181 career assists, the most among active players. Westbrook has 138 triple-doubles, tied with Magic Johnson for second-most in NBA history behind only Oscar Robertson’s 181.

Westbrook and Harden were Thunder teammates for three seasons, the last of those in 2011-12 when that duo and Kevin Durant took Oklahoma City to the NBA Finals. They lost in five games to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat, and Harden departed that summer for Houston – where he’s been an All-Star ever since.

But when the Thunder agreed last week to trade Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, it became clear quickly that Westbrook would be on the move as well. And this trade, when completed, will mean that Thunder general manager Sam Presti has added seven first-round picks to the team’s stockpile in the last week or so.

Oklahoma City got five first-round future selections as part of the George trade. The Thunder are getting two more in this trade.

Paul and Harden were teammates for two seasons in Houston. The Rockets had a 3-2 lead over Golden State in the 2018 Western Conference finals when Paul injured a hamstring, and the Warriors rallied to win that series in seven games on the way to the NBA title. This past season, Houston was ousted in the second round by the Warriors.

The 34-year-old Paul is owed roughly $125 million over the final three years of his contract, including a $44.2 million option for 2021-22. Westbrook, who turns 31 early next season, is owed $171 million over the final four years of his existing deal.

 

Kawhi signs shorter 3-year Clips deal

Kawhi Leonard has chosen a shorter contract with the LA Clippers that lines up with new teammate Paul George’s and sets up the two to be part of the 2021 free-agent class, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Leonard signed a three-year, $103.1 million deal that includes a player option for the 2021-22 season, the source said. He will make $32.74 million next season, $34.37 million in 2020-21 and $36.01 million in the player-option season.

George’s four-year, $136.9 million contract, signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2018 offseason, also includes a player option for 2021-22.

The Athletic first reported that Leonard was signing a three-year contract.

 

Mavericks re-sign restricted free agent Dorian Finney-Smith

The Mavericks have re-signed restricted free agent Dorian Finney-Smith to a $12 million, three-year contract, bringing back the undrafted forward for a fourth season in Dallas.

Finney-Smith has been on the back end of coach Rick Carlisle’s rotation while averaging 5.9 points and 3.7 rebounds in 183 career games, with 74 starts. The former Memphis player is a solid defender whose 3-point shooting has improved slightly each season, although still hovering around 30 percent.

The 26-year-old Finney-Smith has played in 81 games twice, including last season when he also made 26 starts. He had a career-best 35 starts as a rookie in 2016-17. Last season Finney-Smith averaged career bests of 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds.

Finney-Smith was one of three restricted free agents the Mavericks are bringing back. The others are the European pair of Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber. Dwight Powell opted in on the final year of his contract and signed a three-year extension.

 

INDIANA PACERS: 7 Things To Know About Malcolm Brogdon

(INDIANA PACERS RELEASE)

Malcom Brogdon will wear No. 7 with the Pacers, so here are seven things to know about the new Pacers point guard.

  1. He changes numbers whenever he enters a new phase of his career. He wore 22 in high school and his first year at Virginia. After suffering a foot injury and having to sit out a season as a medical redshirt, he switched to 15. That number has been retired by the university. He switched to 13 when he joined Milwaukee and now goes to 7, simply because it’s one of his favorite numbers. He also considered 11.
  2. Brogdon’s agent is Danielle Cantor, the NBA’s first female agent. She works with veteran super-agent David Falk in his restructured firm that represents only NBA players. Brogdon was attracted by her status. “As a minority in this country, I think it’s important that you give other people that are overlooked or not given similar opportunities — you give them a chance, as well,” Brogdon told the Washington Post. “I thought it would be breaking the glass ceiling and we’d be doing something special together.”
  3. Brogdon says he was “extremely disappointed” not to be drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft despite his decorated career at Virginia. He was penalized for having spent five years in college but believes he wouldn’t have been drafted if he had come out earlier. He watched the draft with his family at home, so was spared the indignation of waiting in the green room on national television at the draft site.
  4. He used his extra year of college to obtain a Master’s degree in public policy. His older brother, Gino, is a trial attorney in Atlanta. Another older brother, John, attends law school. His father, Mitchell, is an attorney and mediator. His mother, Dr. Jann Adams, was most recently the associate dean of science and math at Morehouse College. His mother attended Monday’s press conference, as did his girlfriend, Gino and Gino’s wife.
  5. Brogdon is one of the NBA’s most dedicated community activists. He founded Hoops2O in 2018 to raise funds to provide clean water in East Africa by building wells. TNT analyst Charles Barkley presented him with a $45,000 check after Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, raising his donation total at the time to $274,200. He said he wants to “understand the needs of the community so I can make an impact” in Indianapolis.
  6. He has had issues with injuries. He took a medical redshirt after his freshman season at Virginia because of a foot injury. He played in 64 games last season with Milwaukee because of a plantar fascia tear in his right foot. He played in 48 games the prior season because of a partially torn quad tendon.
  7. Don’t look for Brogdon on social media. He has no Twitter account and dropped his Instagram account midway through last season to simplify his life. “It was about limiting my distractions and all the media and noise,” he said. “I don’t really like seeing what’s going on with everybody else.” He said he might revive his Instagram account to promote his charitable causes, but probably would have someone else operate it for him.

 

Butler MBB to Open 2019 Hall of Fame Classic Against Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Butler will take on Missouri, while Stanford will face Oklahoma in the championship round of the 2019 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker.
All four games of the Hall of Fame Classic at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., will be aired live on ESPN networks. The National Association of Basketball Coaches announced the matchups July 11.
On Monday, Nov. 25, Butler will take on Missouri at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU, followed by Stanford versus Oklahoma at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.  On Tuesday, Nov. 26, the consolation game will tip off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNews, followed by the championship game at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Butler and Missouri have split six previous match-ups, but the teams have not met since 1979. The Tigers become the third SEC team on the Bulldogs’ 2019-20 non-conference schedule, joining Ole Miss (on the road Dec. 3) and Florida (at home Dec. 7).
Butler, Missouri, Oklahoma and Stanford will serve as the four host round participants, with the opening games of the tournament beginning on Nov. 16.  Each program will play two games on campus before advancing to the championship rounds in Kansas City. Joining the four host teams will be Maryland-Eastern Shore, Morehead State, William & Mary and Wofford.
The Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker is the culminating event of college basketball’s Hall of Fame Weekend, which also includes the 14th-annual induction ceremony for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. That event will take place on Sunday, Nov. 24, at the College Basketball Experience in Kansas City.

 

‘Not about 24’: Williams to face Halep in Wimbledon final

Hours before her Wimbledon semifinal, Serena Williams spent some time deep in thought and arrived at a couple of conclusions.

For one thing, she shouldn’t focus too much on trying to raise her Grand Slam title total to 24, a number achieved by just one other player in tennis history. And for another, she needs to stay calm on the court.

With that in mind, Williams went out Thursday and made it all look so easy, overwhelming Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2 in 59 minutes to once again put herself on the verge of an eighth championship at the All England Club and major No. 24 overall.

“It’s really not about 24 or 23 or 25. It’s really just about going out there and giving my best effort, no matter what. No matter what I do, I will always have a great career,” said Williams, who at 37 is the oldest woman to reach a Grand Slam final in the professional era. “Like, I just kind of let it go this morning.”

On Saturday, she will take on No. 7-seeded Simona Halep of Romania, a 6-1, 6-3 winner over No. 8 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine under a cloudy sky at Centre Court.

It’s the 11th final at the All England Club for Williams, the first for Halep, whose only major trophy came at the French Open last year.

They’ve played each other 10 previous times, with Williams winning nine, including a three-setter at the Australian Open in January.

“I respect a lot what she has done and what she’s doing,” said Halep, who, like Williams, used to be ranked No. 1. “But now I feel stronger, mentally, facing her. We will see what is going to happen. It’s just a big challenge for me.”

For anyone, really, when Williams is at her best.

And after an up-and-down first half of the year, due in part to injury and illness, she sure does appear to have lifted her level considerably.

Williams was limited to 12 matches in 2019 until last week. After a third-round loss at Roland Garros on June 1, she stayed in France for medical treatment and finally felt pain-free while preparing for Wimbledon.

“Well, if she will play like this in the final,” said Strycova, 33, the oldest first-time Grand Slam semifinalist in the modern era, “it’s going to be very hard for Simona.”

After a three-set struggle against Alison Riske in the quarterfinals Tuesday, Williams was dominant against Strycova, who was limited by a leg muscle problem that cropped up in the very first game.

Strycova would repeatedly flex or shake her legs between points or try to stretch in her sideline chair by pulling her right foot onto her left knee and rocking her leg.

Not an ideal situation. Especially when facing Williams if she’s this dialed-in.

 

The Latest: Simona Halep reaches her 1st Wimbledon final

Simona Halep has reached her first Wimbledon final.

The former No. 1 advanced to Saturday’s championship match at the All England Club by beating Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3 on Centre Court.

Halep broke Svitolina three times in the first set, and then again to take a 4-3 lead in the second. She won the match with another break in the final game.

The seventh-seeded Romanian won the French Open last year, and has reached the final at Roland Garros on two other occasions. She also reached the Australian Open final in 2018, but her previous best at the All England Club had been a spot in the semifinals in 2014.

 

All-Star Game television rating sets record low

Baseball’s All-Star Game had a record low television rating.

The American League’s 4-3 victory over the National League on Tuesday night in Cleveland had a 5.0 rating and 11 share on Fox, according to Nielsen Media Research. The game was seen by an average of 5.93 million households and 8.14 million viewers.

That is down from the previous record low rating of 5.2 and 8.69 million viewers for the AL’s 8-6, 10-inning victory last year.

The game averaged 8,302,000 viewers on Fox, Fox Deportes and Fox streaming services, peaking at 8,592,000 viewers from 9:15-9:30 p.m. EDT. It was the most-watched Fox prime-time telecast since February and the network’s most-watched Tuesday night since the World Series opener between Boston and the Los Angeles Dodgers last October.

The Home Run Derby drew a combined 6.2 million viewers and a 4.54 rating in metered markets on ESPN and ESPN2 on Monday night, up from 5.97 million viewers and a 4.39 rating last year.

The rating is the percentage of television households tuned to a broadcast and the share is the percentage tuned to a telecast among those households with televisions on at the time.

 

Lynn gets MLB-best 12th win as Rangers beat Astros 5-0

Lance Lynn had more strikes thrown than words used postgame to describe his major league-best 12th victory, one that got the Texas Rangers off to the kind of start their manager had hoped for coming out of the All-Star break.

The short answers have become as common for the big right-hander as his impressive outings on the mound.

Lynn matched his season high with 11 strikeouts in seven strong innings and the Rangers beat the AL West-leading Houston Astros 5-0 in the only game Thursday night when Major League Baseball resumed its schedule.

“It was a good game. We scored runs, played good defense. They didn’t score any runs, we won,” Lynn said in one of his longer responses to five questions in his postgame talk with reporters that lasted about 75 seconds.

Lynn (12-4) won his fifth consecutive start, and is 8-1 over his last 11 starts. He scattered six hits (five singles and a double) and walked two while throwing 75 of 110 pitches for strikes.

“He’s going to fill the zone up, keep everybody on their toes and try to get them to put the ball in play by throwing strikes,” catcher Jeff Mathis said. “That’s what we’ve come to expect of him and he’s been doing it lately.”

Houston (57-34) still has a seven-game division lead over Oakland, with the Rangers (49-42) eight games back in third place.

Astros lefty Framber Valdez (3-5) didn’t make it out of the first inning, when Texas jumped ahead with four runs.

“We’ve seen this out of him,” manager AJ Hinch said. “The good version is really good. And the version that struggles, it’s tough for him to manage innings and get out of innings.”

Lynn, who signed a $30 million, three-year free agent deal over the winter after pitching for Minnesota and the New York Yankees last year, is 8-0 in 10 home starts for the Rangers.

 

Astros’ Bregman out after grounder to face

All-Star infielder Alex Bregman left Houston’s game at Texas on Thursday night after a groundball bounced up and hit him on the chin.

Manager A.J. Hinch said during an in-game interview on the ESPN broadcast that it looked like Bregman’s chin was split open. Hinch said Bregman wanted to stay in the game, but the team got him out to get checked by a doctor.

Bregman was playing shortstop, and shifted toward the middle of the infield in the third inning when he went to field a grounder hit by Shin-Soo Choo. The ball took a late high hop and caught Bregman squarely on the lower half of his face, and there appeared to be blood when he was tended to by a trainer.

Bregman is Houston’s primary third baseman, but has been playing shortstop with Carlos Correa on the injured list.

Myles Straw replaced Bregman at shortstop.

 

Atlantic League to experience with ‘stealing’ first base

The independent Atlantic League will experiment with allowing batters to “steal” first base.

After debuting a “robot” plate umpire in its All-Star Game, the league on Wednesday announced four more changes for the second half of its season. Most notably, a batter may run to first and try to beat the throw after any pitch not caught in flight. The batter would be out if he is beaten by the throw or is tagged before touching first.

In addition, a pitcher will be required to step off the rubber for pickoff attempts, a batter will be allowed one foul, two-strike bunt before a strikeout is called and plate umpires will define check swings more favorably for a batter.

The league has been experimenting all season with 18-inch bases, which shorten the distance between home and first by 3 inches.

 

Wife: Ex-Red Sox slugger Ortiz recovering from 3rd surgery

Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is recovering from a third surgery after experiencing complications resulting from his gunshot wound.

Ortiz’s wife, Tiffany, says in a statement Thursday that he is “recovering well and in good spirits.” He had the surgery earlier this week at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Ortiz was shot in the back at a bar in the Dominican Republic last month. Dominican police have said he was mistaken for another man who was sitting near him at the club.

Police say a suspected drug trafficker offered to pay $30,000 for the shooting.

Police say they’ve arrested 14 people in the case, including the suspected gunman, and are searching for others.

 

Astros’ Marisnick suspended for plate collision with Lucroy

Houston Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick was suspended for two games by Major League Baseball on Thursday for his violent home plate collision with Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy before the All-Star break.

Marisnick said he still felt terrible about the play and had a rough couple of days during the break to digest the situation. He also said he had spoken with Lucroy, who sustained a concussion and a broken nose.

“I’ve seen a lot of takes on it, and obviously everybody has their own opinion,” Marisnick said before the AL West-leading Astros played their first game after the break. “But I know deep down in my heart that I had no intent to hurt, or make contact, with him.”

Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, said he thoroughly reviewed the play from all angles. While acknowledging he didn’t believe Marisnick intended to injure Lucroy, Torre said the actions in last Sunday’s game warranted discipline because they violated MLB rules designed to protect catchers from that type of situation.

Marisnick, who also was fined, appealed the suspension and was available to play in the series opener against Texas though he wasn’t in the starting lineup. He said he wanted an opportunity to speak more thoroughly with MLB officials about the play.

Astros manager AJ Hinch, a former big league catcher, said he remained steadfast in his defense of Marisnick and how unintentional the play was, and was also still empathetic toward Lucroy.

“I don’t think the suspension was necessary, I don’t think it was warranted, but MLB wants to maintain their control over the collisions at the plate, and for all of the right reasons,” Hinch said. “I haven’t seen in my career too many unintentional acts warrant a discipline, but this is a tough one because of the extent of the injury to Jonathan Lucroy and the nature of the rule around home plate.”

 

Indians’ Carrasco not slowing down as he fights leukemia

Carlos Carrasco won’t let cancer change him.

The Indians right-hander was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia last month, but that has hardly slowed Carrasco, who has been throwing bullpen sessions with the hopes of pitching again for Cleveland this season.

Carrasco spoke to media members Thursday for the first time since his diagnosis and said he’s thankful for the support he’s received from teammates and throughout baseball.

The 32-year-old was moved by the ovation he received Tuesday night during the All-Star Game in Cleveland. During the fifth inning, Carrasco was joined on the field during Major League Baseball’s “Stand Up To Cancer” salute by his teammates and Indians manager Terry Francona. The Indians’ All-Stars held placards that said: “Cookie,” Carrasco’s nickname.

Carrasco did not reveal what type of treatment he’s receiving. He said doctors first discovered something wrong during his physical at spring training.

As he battles the condition, Carrasco he said “I just push myself to work more and get stronger.”

 

MLB NEWS: PREDICTIONS FOR THE SECOND HALF

(MLB RELEASE)

The All-Star break is an opportunity to take a step back from the standings and our individual teams and simply enjoy stress-free, frictionless baseball for a couple of days. We get to catch our breath … before matters start getting crazy. This year in particular, madness is in store: Both leagues have a cluster of Wild Card competitors, and only four teams, maybe five, look like obvious playoff participants so far. At the halfway mark, we know so little.

So, today at The Thirty, we make a prediction for every team for the second half. These predictions are educated guesses, but also, almost certainly, most of them will be wrong. The fun of it, after all, is actually watching to see what happens.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: Their fans are going to be wondering if they’re about to go on another division title run. Two in a row isn’t quite like the 14 in a row they won from 1991 through 2005 … but with all the parity in baseball these days, it can feel like it.

Marlins: People will start noticing the pitching. The Marlins’ staff has quietly become rather solid. There’s still a long way to go for the hitting, but there’s hope here.

Mets: Embattled manager Mickey Callaway survives the season. Beyond that, who knows.

Nationals: The Nats are starting to look like the Nats again, and that’s scary for any team that might catch them in October. Look out: An NL Wild Card Game win behind Max Scherzer is theirs, which means they will advance in the postseason for the first time.

Phillies: Bryce Harper’s first year in town ends outside the playoffs. Good thing he has 12 more opportunities.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

Brewers: The bullpen finally hits a wall. It has been hinting at it, but Josh Hader has kept it afloat. But eventually, the strain gets to even him, and the Brewers’ strength can’t keep them afloat this time as they miss the playoffs.

Cardinals: Paul Goldschmidt finally gets it going, but it’s not enough. How will Cardinals fans handle missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year for the first time since 1988-95? Not well!

Cubs: They hang on to win the division by the skin of their teeth. They still have the most talent in a very wobbly division.

Pirates: Josh Bell finishes in the top three in the NL Most Valuable Player Award voting. But will this create any movement on a potential contract extension? That remains to be seen.

Reds: The Reds finish in second place. Yep, you heard it. The Reds have the second-best run differential in the division despite being in last place. But they’re close … and the luck finally turns their way in the second half.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

D-backs: They finally find a taker for Zack Greinke and swing a trade involving their ace. The irony is that it might happen at the time when they need him the most.

Dodgers: Cody Bellinger becomes the first Dodger position player to win the NL MVP Award since Kirk Gibson in 1988. Clayton Kershaw, of course, won the MVP (and the NL Cy Young Award) in 2014.

Giants: Madison Bumgarner gets traded, and Giants fans don’t mind. Fans handle this sort of business so much better than they used to.

Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr. becomes your new favorite player. Seriously, watch this kid.

Rockies: Another NL Wild Card Game appearance is coming. And this time, they get to host it.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is going to get hot enough to not only win the AL Rookie of the Year Award, but also help the Blue Jays avoid their worst record in 40 years. Vlad Jr. has provided plenty of highlights, but he hasn’t quite taken over the league like many thought he might when he was called up on April 26. That ends in the second half, and he helps prevent the Jays from losing 100 games for the first time since 1979.

Orioles: They won’t lose as many as last year. The O’s are, remarkably, on last year’s 115-loss pace. But here’s betting that they evade hitting that mark in 2019 … and that they don’t come close to losing that many games again for several decades, if ever.

Rays: They make the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons. The Rays haven’t reached the postseason since 2013, and just because they have an AL Wild Card lead doesn’t mean they’re assured of it. But not only do they make it, here’s betting they host the AL Wild Card Game.

Red Sox: They fall short. The Sox just haven’t felt right all year. Certainly, they have the talent to grab the second AL Wild Card, but this feels not dissimilar from other post-championship hangovers we’ve seen in the past decade or so. The good news for fans is that if history holds, Boston will go out and win 115 games in 2020.

Yankees: This ends up being the best Yankees team since 1998, when they won 114 games. The Yanks have won more than 100 games five times since that historic season — which seems like fewer than you thought, right? — but this might be the most unlikely, most purely enjoyable time they reach that number. They need 104 to have their most since ’98, and while they are on pace for 100, it says here they are going to do it.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

Indians: A losing streak at the wrong time answers all the questions they need answered, and they end up selling at the Trade Deadline. All told, you get the sense the Indians aren’t particularly thrilled about the idea of doubling down on what will be at best an AL Wild Card slot. A dip at the right time clarifies their decision-making process, and maybe is even ultimately better in the long term.

Royals: Steve Balboni’s team record for homers lasted 32 years until Mike Moustakas set a new standard with 38 bombs in 2017. With Jorge Soler around, Moustakas’ record is going to last only two years, as Soler (currently with 23) becomes the first Royal to reach to reach the 40-homer plateau.

Tigers: Miguel Cabrera finishes above .300. He might not be hitting for power anymore, but Cabrera sure does want to stay above that mark for the first time since 2016. Twins: Only one Twins team has won 100 or more games: The 1965 team, which won 102. With the AL Central the way it is, this is the year that record goes down.

White Sox: They don’t quite make it over .500, but that’s no reason not to be excited. It has been since 2012 that the White Sox had a winning record. They won’t get there this year, but next year, they’ll get there … and might even make the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

Angels: Mike Trout remains the best player in baseball and won’t win a postseason game. Same as last year, same as it ever was.

Astros: Yordan Alvarez leads the team in homers the rest of the way. Have you seen this kid? On this team, this is no small feat, to say the least.

Athletics: They make the AL Wild Card Game for the second consecutive year. Remember how dark it looked after that first series in Japan? If they can hold off Boston, they’re off to the Trop.

Mariners: There will be at least 10 more trades. We’re probably being too conservative here.

Rangers: They move out of their old stadium with more optimism than anyone expected. It has been a fun run this year, but there’s just not enough pitching to make the playoffs. But they will open their new digs with a lot of excitement for 2020.

 

MLB NEWS: MLB’s new Trade Deadline rules explained

The term “deadline” implies a certain sense of finality, a defining line that can’t be crossed.

But for decades, baseball’s Trade Deadline wasn’t exactly a deadline. After it passed, there was still ample opportunity for clubs to improve their rosters with external additions in the trade market. (Remember when Dallas Keuchel publicly complained about the 2017 Astros’ quiet July 31 Deadline activity, and they wound up landing Justin Verlander a month later?)

That’s all changed this year. There is now one, true Trade Deadline.

Because the elimination of the August waiver trade period might be as difficult for some fans to grasp as the mere existence of the August waiver trader period was difficult for other fans to grasp, here’s a handy FAQ that should help all fans understand what the true Trade Deadline entails.

When is the Trade Deadline?

The deadline is at 4 p.m. ET on July 31.

What has changed?

The Trade Deadline is, indeed, a deadline. Within the 2019 season, no players will change hands via trade after that date.

How is this different from years past?

Previously, a player could be traded after July 31 under one of two conditions.

1) He first cleared revocable trade waivers.

2) Or if the club claiming the player on waivers worked out a trade with the team that placed the player on waivers.

As long as players were acquired by Aug. 31, they were eligible to play for their new clubs in the postseason.

The August waiver period had a profound impact on playoff races over the years. The Blue Jays acquired David Cone from the Mets after he cleared waivers in 1992, and he helped pitch them to their first World Series title. In 2004, the Cardinals worked out a trade for Larry Walker, who had cleared waivers, and he helped them reach the Fall Classic. And the Astros’ acquisition of Verlander after he cleared waivers was the turning point in their bid for their first World Series championship.

Even beyond what it meant to various playoff races, the August trade period had a big effect on baseball history, such as John Smoltz going from Detroit to Atlanta, Jeff Bagwell going from Boston to Houston, Jose Bautista going from Pittsburgh to Toronto and the Dodgers and Red Sox working out a 2012 deal in which more than a quarter of a billion dollars’ worth of contracts — including those of Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez — changed hands.

So can players still be placed on waivers after July 31?

Yes, players can still be placed on outright waivers and claimed by other clubs, but it has to be a straight waiver claim, meaning the new team takes on the player’s remaining contract and no other players are involved.

Sometimes veteran players on costly contracts are placed on waivers in the hope of shedding salary, so it’s possible you might see some high-priced players switch teams on waivers this August for that reason alone.

Are players acquired via waivers after July 31 still eligible for postseason rosters?

Yes. But the Aug. 31 postseason roster deadline still applies. If you are not in the organization before September, you cannot appear in the postseason for them.

What are some possible effects of the “true” Trade Deadline?

All we can do is speculate at this point, but, at minimum, one would expect the volume of trades in the last week of July — and especially the final hours leading up to 4 p.m. ET on the 31st — to escalate.

Teams will have to make calculated assessments of their roster strengths and weaknesses — and their overall ability to contend for a title — earlier than they once did, and deadlines, by their very nature, compel action.

It behooves contenders to identify and address areas of need as early in the season as possible and for teams potentially situated as sellers to market their assets early, as well. Teams that wait too long to sell could find themselves swallowing a good bit of salary near the July 31 Deadline, because quite often it was the players on contracts that outpaced their production who cleared waivers and were moved in August.

The July 31 Deadline at the big league level could also lead to more August trades at the Minor League level. Veteran players on Minor League contracts (in other words, not on a 40-man roster) could see their values to contending clubs increase as injuries or other unforeseen circumstances develop after July 31. The key distinction is that it’s a player on a Minor League contract. There are a few players in the Minors who have Major League contracts and are not on the 40-man (think Rusney Castillo with Boston), and those guys cannot be traded.

Anything else to know?

This isn’t new, but it’s worth reminding people that if you are an impending free agent who is traded during the season, the team that acquires you cannot give you a qualifying offer and therefore receive Draft pick compensation if you sign elsewhere. That means that when a team is trying to calculate it’s trade return for an impending free agent, it must try to determine if the prospect (or prospects) it is getting in return carry more value than the Draft pick and the associated Draft bonus pool money it would get if they give that player a qualifying offer in the offseason and he signs elsewhere.

 

Indy Eleven Releases Midfielder Nico Matern

Indy Eleven and Nico Matern have mutually agreed to terminate the midfielder’s contract, releasing him from the club’s roster effective immediately.
“We would like to thank Nico for his on-field and community contributions to Indy Eleven over the last year and a half,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. “We wish him all the best in his next chapter.”
Matern made eight appearances during Indy Eleven’s 2019 USL Championship campaign, in which the midfielder tallied one assist, completed 81 percent of his passes and created five scoring opportunities. The 26-year-old signed with Indy Eleven in March of 2018 after impressing during a short trial period in preseason. The Indiana Wesleyan University graduate made 27 appearances and created one assist during his first season with Boys in Blue in 2018.

 

PREVIEW | INDY ELEVEN RETURN TO USL CHAMPIONSHIP ACTION IN REMATCH AT HARTFORD ATHLETIC

HFD v IND Gameday Preview
Indy Eleven at Hartford Athletic
Saturday, July 13, 2019 – 5:00 P.M. ET
Dillon Stadium  |  Hartford, CT

First 2019 Meeting:

Indy Eleven  1 : 0  Hartford Athletic  |  Saturday, March 30

In the first-ever meeting between the two sides, a 40th minute own goal off of Nikolaj Lyngo resulted in a home-opening win for the Boys in Blue, played in front of 20,251 fans at Lucas Oil Stadium. The clean sheet by Evan Newton marked the first 90 minutes of what would eventually be a 465-minute shutout streak to start Indy’s home campaign in 2019 (5+ games).

Last Time Out:

Indy Eleven  1 : 1  Louisville City FC  |  Saturday, June 29

Indy Eleven claimed a point from the first of two 2019 Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest (LIPAFC) matchups against the defending USL Cup champions. Midfielder Tyler Pasher scored the game’s first goal in the 9th minute, notching his seventh of the season and fifth in the month of June. Louisville leveled the score in the 55th minute after Paolo DelPiccolo’s Goal of the Week winning free kick found the back of Indy’s net.

Hartford Athletic 1 : 4 Memphis 901 FC  |  Saturday, July 6

Hartford Athletic lost their second match in a row and 12th of the 2019 USL Championship season after falling to Memphis 901 FC, 4-1. The Connecticut based side fell by three goals for the second game in a row after falling to Birmingham Legion 0-3 at home the week prior. Midfielder Mads Jorgenson scored Hartford’s only goal and his first of the season in the in the 30th minute, but it wasn’t enough to fend off former Indy Eleven forward Elliot Collier’s hat trick and substitute Lagos Kunga’s 80th minute strike.

Storylines

Indiana’s Team will be looking to be rude housewarming guests this Saturday, when it will serve as Hartford Athletic’s first opponent at the renovated Dillon Stadium, an 84-year-old venue that received a $13 million facelift by Athletic ownership group Hartford Sports Group.

With its 1-1 draw against Louisville the last time out, Indy Eleven extended its undefeated streak in USL Championship play to 10 matches (6W-0L-4D), which is tied with Ottawa for the second-longest such streak in USLC this season and three games behind Tampa Bay’s season-starting 13-game undefeated run.

However, the LIPAFC stalemate also resulted in the end of the club’s record-setting five-game win streak.

Indy Eleven is also looking to extend its unbeaten streak on the road to three games, as the side hasn’t lost a match on the road since its 2-1 defeat to NYRB II on April 28. The only other away loss for the Boys in Blue – or any loss in league play, for that matter – came in the season opener on March 9 at St. Louis FC (1-2), which puts Indy’s impressive away ledger at 5W-2L-0D.

Midfielder Tyler Pasher looks to continue his red-hot hot month of June into July. The Canadian scored five goals and recorded one assist in six games last month, resulting in a well-deserved place among the USL Championship’s five Player of the Month nominees.

Indiana’s Team hopes to continue its four-game winning streak against 2019 USL Championship newcomers on Saturday night, having claimed all 12 possible points against expansion sides this season: 1-0 vs. Hartford (March 9), 3-0 at Memphis 901 FC (June 8), 2-1 at Loudoun United FC (June 15), and 3-0 vs. Birmingham Legion (June 26).

Former Boy in Blue Wojciech Wojcik will face his former club for the second time in 2019. Wojcik made 22 appearances and scored two goals from 2015-16 with Indy.

Hartford forward Jose Angulo is no stranger to facing the Boys in Blue as he’s made appearances against Indiana’s Team with Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL), where he made 47 appearances and scored 11 goals.

Fellow Hartford forward Giuseppe Gentile is also familiar with the Boys in Blue, having squared up against the Indiana’s Team every year since 2015 as a member of now six different NASL and USL Championship sides.

 

NFL NEWS: Top 10 cornerbacks, safeties in NFL: Stephon Gilmore, Derwin James sit atop DB lists

There are a select group of positions that generally get the big bucks and, thus, command the most attention in the NFL: Quarterbacks, wide receivers, offensive tackles, pass rushers and cornerbacks.

With paydays for interior stars like Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox in recent years, it’s arguable that front-four power is even more valuable than cover guys these days — especially in light of how quickly and how often teams pass the ball. The game’s increased aerial focus has arguably also made it tougher to differentiate just which defensive backs are truly elite, because if Jalen Ramsey and Josh Norman are getting toasted semi-regularly, who’s to say any corners are shutdown material?

At any rate, we here at CBS Sports attempted to sift through the weeds and, continuing our daily tradition of previewing every position group in the NFL, collectively ranked the best cornerbacks and safeties as the 2019 season approaches. (Earlier, we brought you our top-10 rankings for quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, tight ends, offensive lines and linebackers.)

Below, you’ll find our top 10 cornerbacks and safeties, formed by votes from yours truly and the rest of our NFL staff. Again, these aren’t my own individual rankings, but rather a team effort.

We begin with the corners:

Cornerbacks

Just missed: Byron Jones (Cowboys), Darius Slay (Lions), Desmond King (Chargers)

Others who got votes: William Jackson (Bengals), Denzel Ward (Browns)

Notables with no votes: Josh Norman (Washington), Marcus Peters (Rams)

  1. Xavier Rhodes, Vikings

After going to two Pro Bowls and earning a five-year, $70 million extension from 2016-2017, Rhodes suffered a major drop-off in 2018, posting the lowest tackle (47), pass deflection (7) and interception (1) totals of his six-year career. He remains one of the NFL’s most physically imposing CBs, however, and publicly accepted coach Mike Zimmer’s criticisms this offseason.

  1. Kyle Fuller, Bears

Looks like we’re buying that Fuller’s breakout year was no fluke. After mixed results through his first four seasons, the former first-round pick stayed around the ball in 2018. While he surrendered plenty of yards, he also nabbed seven interceptions and logged 20-plus pass breakups for the second straight year. If he stays hot, Chicago’s “D” will remain a force.

  1. Xavien Howard, Dolphins

Casual NFL fans might scratch their heads at this one, but the truth is that Howard is one of the flashiest names on the rise at the position — not to mention one of the richest, as of this May. He was rather boom or bust in 2018 but still matched Fuller’s seven picks in only 12 games. Another full 16-game slate could shoot him even further up the boards.

  1. Marshon Lattimore, Saints

Two years removed from his Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign, Lattimore has taken a bit of a beating, enduring a rather pronounced sophomore slump for parts of 2018. Yet he remains one of the most gifted up-and-comers. After just two NFL seasons, he’s racked up 111 tackles, 30 pass breakups, seven picks and five forced fumbles in 29 games.

  1. Casey Hayward, Chargers

Depending on who you talk to, this guy is either supremely underrated or a touch overrated. He’s had three different seasons with zero interceptions and is coming off a 2018 campaign in which he not only had no picks or forced fumbles but deflected just eight passes. But he also allowed only 32 catches a year after finishing as Pro Football Focus’s No. 1-graded cover corner and two years after going All-Pro with seven INTs.

  1. Tre’Davious White, Bills

If there’s one youngster on this list who seems bound to ascend even higher, my money is on White. His numbers aren’t gaudy (six INTs in two years), but he’s been feisty and efficient since coming in as a rookie in 2017. Both his years in the NFL, QBs throwing his way have registered passer ratings no better than 75. He also allowed only 30 catches in 2018.

  1. Patrick Peterson, Cardinals

Is name recognition keeping him afloat, or is he still performing at a Pro Bowl level? PFF had him ranked as the No. 5 CB in 2018, touting his performance as something akin to a career year, so that should at least partially answer the question. Peterson has rarely been as much of a ball-hawk as his athleticism suggests, and he’ll miss six games under suspension to start 2019, but at age 28, he still justifies top dollar.

  1. Chris Harris, Broncos

Starting with Harris, there was a tight race for the top spot, with a relatively sizable drop-off to Peterson. The longtime Bronco did most of his damage from the slot in 2018, but that doesn’t negate his value. The guy is still one of the best all-around DBs in the game, from his coverage versatility to tackling efficiency.

  1. Jalen Ramsey, Jaguars

Like Lattimore, almost everything about Ramsey’s 2018 campaign was significantly worse than his prior season. Still, it’s hard not to gush over the former fifth overall pick when he’s on his game. Few players — at any position — possess his level of swagger. Oh, and he’s pretty good at covering people, too, even after allowing more yards and catches as a third-year pro.

  1. Stephon Gilmore, Patriots

He doesn’t have the mouth of Ramsey or the pizzazz of Peterson, but Gilmore has quietly been an anchor on the Patriots’ championship defense since breaking out with the Bills. In his two years with New England, the eighth-year vet made up for just four combined picks with elite coverage grades, allowing a league-low completion percentage in 2018.

Safeties

Others who got votes: Keanu Neal (Falcons), Tyrann Mathieu (Chiefs), Bradley McDougal (Seahawks), Justin Reid (Texans), John Johnson (Rams)

Notables with no votes: Landon Collins (Washington), Reshad Jones (Dolphins), LaMarcus Joyner (Raiders)

  1. Eric Weddle, Rams

He’s 34, and the Ravens made him a cap casualty, but Weddle remains one of the better all-around players, not to mention locker-room leaders, at the position, grading out as PFF’s No. 10 safety in 2018. He’s also missed just three games the last nine seasons.

  1. Devin McCourty, Patriots

Like Weddle, he’s not the youngest — he’ll turn 32 in August. Unlike Weddle, he’s also rarely been a pick machine. Yet McCourty has been among the NFL’s most consistent, reliable presences in New England’s secondary, missing just five games in nine years and regularly ranking among the team’s tackle leaders as part of three Super Bowl runs.

  1. Adrian Amos, Packers

The Packers are paying him to be borderline elite when, in reality, he’s probably just “pretty good.” Then again, that’s probably good enough for his No. 8 spot here when you look around the league. Even a repeat of his 2018 performance (73 tackles, 2 INTs) will really help Green Bay.

  1. Malcolm Jenkins, Eagles

Like McCourty, he’s been doing it the right way for Super Bowl contenders for a while now. Jenkins’ turnover totals aren’t outrageous, but he’s good in the clutch, solid all-around and maybe the most versatile of this bunch. A model of both leadership and durability, he’s also probably the most underpaid of the group, especially considering …

  1. Harrison Smith, Vikings

Look, he’s not a slouch. Not by a long shot. But some people seem to think we’re still living in Fall 2017, when he logged a career-high five picks. That’s before he was absolutely torched in the 2017 playoffs, then slipped to a middle-of-the-pack coverage grade in 2018. Smith is rangy and likable — someone you definitely want on your team. But any higher would be a stretch.

  1. Jamal Adams, Jets

If Jenkins deserves a bump, then Adams definitely deserves a bump. As you’ll see below, our crew had plenty of young guns to choose from, but this guy has been no joke through just two seasons. Although he’s got only one pick to his name, he’s been a rock for New York’s “D,” a wrecking ball with tons of remaining upside.

  1. Kevin Byard, Titans

Notice how many hotshots at both CB and S hail from the AFC — eight of the top 10, including both positions. Byard is equally as promising as Adams, with a bigger reputation for takeaways. Can he keep up his early pace?

  1. Eddie Jackson, Bears

Khalil Mack gets all the love, but Jackson’s had such a huge hand in Chicago’s defensive turnaround. Six picks in 2018 don’t even tell the full story, but they begin to paint the picture: This guy is a playmaker, and even with an inevitable regression in his third year, he’s got the makings of a longtime stud for their secondary.

  1. Earl Thomas, Ravens

It’s clear our crew was not deterred by Thomas missing all but three games in 2018, or the fact he just turned 30. The longtime Seahawks star has always been among the game’s elite when healthy, and he was on pace for career-high numbers across the board before going down in his last outing.

  1. Derwin James, Chargers

The total package. Young. Huge. Productive. The 6-foot-2 enforcer couldn’t have had a more encouraging rookie season in 2018, teasing his sky-high potential with 105 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three picks. Graded out as PFF’s No. 5 safety, he’s still got lots of room to grow and figures to be the centerpiece of Los Angeles’ defense for years to come.

 

NFL NEWS: Agent’s Take: Tyreek Hill situation among unfinished NFL business that needs attention as camps get set to begin

(CBS SPORTS)

The NFL typically goes on hiatus when mandatory minicamps end in the middle of June. Things don’t start picking back up until the week following the fourth of July. Very little NFL business gets conducted during the lull.

Here’s a look at some key outstanding offseason business matters, some of which should be completed prior to training camps opening later this month.

The franchise player negotiating deadline

Six players were designated as franchise players this year. Three of the six have already signed long-term deals. Edge rusher Dee Ford was the first. He received a five-year, $85 million contract as a part of his trade from the Chiefs to the 49ers for a 2020 second round pick in mid-March. The Cowboys made defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence the third member of the $20 million per year non-quarterback club in early April. He has a five-year, $105 million contract with $65 million in guarantees where $48 million was fully guaranteed at signing. Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark signed a five-year, $104 million contract with $62.305 million in guarantees ($43.805 million fully guaranteed at signing) in connection with his trade from the Seahawks shortly before the NFL draft was held in late April.

Texans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, 49ers kicker Robbie Gould and Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett have until 4 p.m. EDT on July 15 to sign multi-year contracts. They must wait until the 2019 regular season ends to sign long term once the deadline passes.

A long-term deal isn’t expected with Clowney, whose franchise tender is $15,967,200, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson. Gould reportedly tabled contract discussions with the 49ers in late April and wants to be traded, presumably to the Bears, who haven’t had a reliable kicker since releasing him at roster cutdowns in 2016. He spent the first 11 years of his NFL career in Chicago. Gould’s franchise tag amount is $4.971 million. Atlanta owner Arthur Blank proclaimed earlier in the offseason that Jarrett, who has already signed his $15.209 million franchise tender, would be a Falcon for life. Jarrett’s agent, Todd France, represents the NFL’s two highest paid interior defensive linemen, Aaron Donald ($22.5 million per year) and Fletcher Cox ($17.1 million per year). France likely views those deals he negotiated as being relevant to his Jarrett negotiations.

Running back Le’Veon Bell was the first franchise player to sit out a full season since 1998, last season. Unless Clowney or Gould are going to follow in Bell’s footsteps, their respective franchise tenders will eventually be signed. Clowney is expected to sit out a significant portion of training camp before signing.

Tyreek Hill situation

Hill met with NFL investigators for eight hours in late June regarding allegations of child abuse against his three-year-old son. The Chiefs banned the wide receiver from offseason activities for the foreseeable future in April while local authorities conducted a criminal investigation into Hill’s actions. The Johnson County (Kansas) District Attorney’s Office announced last month that the investigation is no longer active.

Ideally, the NFL will make a determination whether Hill will face any discipline under the NFL’s personal conduct policy before Chiefs veteran players report to training camp on July 26. Criminal charges are not necessary for Commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend someone under the personal conduct policy. According to Kansas City radio stations, the Chiefs are cautiously optimistic that Hill won’t be suspended. A favorable outcome for Hill could lead to negotiations for a new deal, which were put on hold because of the allegations, resuming since he is in a contract year.

Veteran contract extensions

Every year, signings during the summer and leading up to the start of the regular season, change the complexion of the following year’s free agency. The most anticipated veteran player signing may be Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, but the two sides are reportedly far apart in negotiations. Prescott seems destined to join the $30 million per year quarterback club, which currently has five members (Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan) if he signs a long-term deal.

Tom Brady and the Patriots typically haven’t had much trouble reaching an agreement on a new deal when he is in his contract year, like he is now. Things shouldn’t be any different this time around, especially since Patriots owner Robert Kraft indicated he envisioned Brady, who turns 42 in August, as New England’s quarterback for quite a while in the days leading up to Super Bowl LIII. One thing that can be counted on is Brady giving the Patriots some sort of hometown discount. That’s something he’s consistently done since 2013 when he first renegotiated the 2010 extension which made him the NFL’s highest paid player.

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has faith that owner Arthur Blank is going to keep his word about giving him the new deal he was promised last summer. He said a couple of months ago he didn’t care about becoming the NFL’s highest paid wide receiver. Nonetheless, Jones, who has two years left on his contract totaling $21.026 million, could become the NFL’s first $20-million per year wide receiver if Michael Thomas doesn’t beat him to it.

Negotiations between the Saints and Thomas are ongoing. Thomas reportedly dropped his demands to $22 million per year recently while the Saints are in the $18 million per year neighborhood.

Linebacker Bobby Wagner is representing himself in negotiations with the Seahawks. He was pretty adamant that any new deal he signs must pay him more than C.J. Mosley’s $17 million per year, which re-set a stagnant inside linebacker market, when asked about his contract during Seattle’s offseason workouts.

First round signings

Only 11 2019 draft picks remain unsigned because there are very few negotiable items under the rookie wage scale, which was implemented in 2011. Just two of the first six picks, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (first overall) and Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell (fourth overall) have signed.

Defensive end Nick Bosa, who was selected second overall by the 49ers, could be the most challenging signing. His older brother Joey, the third overall pick in 2016, had the longest contract dispute for an incoming NFL player under the rookie wage scale. He missed 31 days before signing his contract.

The dispute was largely over whether the deal should contain offsets and the payment schedule of his signing bonus. The concession the Chargers made to Bosa was a better payment schedule than they typically give to players with big signing bonuses.

An offset clause allows a team to reduce the guaranteed money owed to a player when he is released by the amount of his new deal with another team. The player receives his salary from the team that released him in addition to the full salary from his new contract with another club when there isn’t an offset (also known as “double dipping”). An offset should only come into play in the latter years of a rookie deal if the player hasn’t lived up to expectations.

The voiding of contract guarantees could be a bigger sticking point in the Bosa negotiations. The 49ers have some of the NFL’s broadest language for guarantee voiding. Even quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who briefly became the league’s highest paid player last offseason, has San Francisco’s team friendly language.

This specific issue was responsible for linebacker Roquan Smith, 2018’s eighth overall pick, missing the first two weeks of training camp last year because he and his agents (Brian Ayrault and Todd France) objected to language where the Bears had the right to void his guarantees for an ejection or suspension from a game for violating NFL playing rules. A compromise was reached on the number of games in a suspension necessary to trigger voiding. Ayrault and France also represent the Bosa brothers.

Agents have essentially lost the battle on offsets. Teams with early first round picks in 2013 were adamant that contracts contain offsets after largely conceding the issue the previous year. Nearly every team besides the Jaguars and the Rams require offsets with salary guarantees for draft picks, including those selected in the top ten. As a compromise, a lot of teams structure deals containing minimum base salaries in the final three years with the remainder of a player’s salary in annual fully guaranteed third or fifth day of training camp roster bonuses. The contract edge rusher Josh Allen signed with the Jaguars as the seventh overall pick doesn’t have offsets.

A quarterback has the best chance of extracting a concession on offsets than players at other positions although it wasn’t the case with Murray. Mitchell Trubisky, the second overall pick in 2017, signed a deal with the Bears where his training camp roster bonuses in 2018 through 2020, which contain most of the money in the last three years of his contract, don’t have offsets. All of the other Bears first round picks signed under the rookie wage scale have offsets.

It will be interesting to see whether sixth overall pick Daniel Jones can get treated by the Giants in a similar manner as Trubisky was by the Bears especially considering the player taken right after him, Allen, doesn’t have offsets. Saquon Barkley, who was selected second overall last year by the Giants, signed a contract with offsets. Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (third overall) and Buccaneers linebacker Devin White (fifth overall) are also unsigned.

Minicamp holdouts

Lions defensive tackle Damon Harrison, Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, Lions cornerback Darius Slay and Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams were willing to risk incurring a fine of $88,650 for missing last month’s mandatory three-day minicamp with their respective teams because of contract unhappiness. Clowney and Gould didn’t attend minicamps either. As franchise players with unsigned tenders, Clowney and Gould weren’t subject to a fine. Unsigned players aren’t withholding services they are contractually obligated to perform.

Any training camp holdout by Jones or Ngakoue shouldn’t last too long. Both are entering the final years of their rookie contracts and have three years of service towards free agency (i.e. accrued seasons). An accrued season isn’t earned when a player doesn’t report to his team at least 30 days prior to the NFL’s first regular season game. The reporting deadline this year is August 6.

Missing this August 6 deadline after a failed holdout where either of these two play out their rookie contracts would make them restricted free agents in 2020 rather than unrestricted. Under this scenario, the Chiefs and Jaguars would have the ability to give Jones and Ngakoue a restricted free-agent tender, which will be between $4.627 million and $4.848 million, where they would get a first round pick next year if signed to an offer sheet by another team that isn’t matched. Getting the year of service isn’t a concern for holdouts with four or more years of service since these players already have enough accrued seasons to qualify for unrestricted free agency.

The Williams situation has the potential to be the most acrimonious. In addition to reportedly wanting his contract addressed because of the left tackle market dramatically escalating since signing in 2015, Williams hasn’t been happy about how the Redskins’ medical staff handled a growth on his scalp that was surgically removed early in the offseason.

The penalties are more severe for a training camp absence. A team can fine a player a maximum of $40,000 for each day missed. Training camps typically run from 35 to 40 days. Missing all of camp would subject a player to approximately $1.5 million in fines. A team can also recover a portion of a player’s signing bonus. 15 percent of the prorated amount of signing bonus can be recouped on the sixth day of a training camp holdout. It’s one percent for each additional missed day with a maximum of 25 percent of the prorated amount during training camp. The recoupment increases when a holdout extends to the regular season.

Veteran free agents

There are usually veteran player signings right before training camps open and during the preseason. For some of the veterans, a conscious decision to wait has been made because the free agent market hasn’t been to their liking. A few will further delay signing in hopes of gaining some contractual leverage through a training camp or preseason injury. The most prominent veterans available include running back Jay Ajayi, safety Eric Berry, wide receiver Dez Bryant, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, tight end Antonio Gates, edge rusher Nick Perry and defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson.

 

THIS DAY IN SPORTS HISTORY

July 12, 1924

COLOMBES, France-It was Paavo Nurmi’s moment again in the Olympic Stadium. As fresh as if he had just come from a country walk, he finished two minutes ahead of his countryman, Willie Ritola, today in the most grueling cross-country race ever run in Olympic history. Thirty-nine men, all hard and fit athletes, started in the 10,000-meter cross-country race, but only fifteen finished. The finish of some of those fifteen was most pitiful.
Behind Nurmi and Ritola, both from Finland, there came into the stadium a big American boy, R. Earl Johnson of Pittsburgh. Entering about a minute behind Ritola, he slowly but steadily edged his way round the half circle of the stadium toward the tape. He was still running, but his run was fast becoming an amble. Ten yards behind Johnson came an Englishman, Harper, who struggled even more painfully. His legs moved as if each had a ten-pound weight attached to it. For a moment it seemed doubtful if he could reach the tape. He did, but he stood groping blindly with his hands, seeking support, and was caught fainting in the arms of his countrymen.
Scarcely had he fallen when through the Marathon gate came other figures, even more pitiful. Two Frenchmen were running together. At the bend one of them staggered, and as dazed as a man who had been struck by a hammer tottered off the track onto the field. The cheers of the crowd roused him. Back he came and, swaying now right and left, he staggered forward. Twice he nearly fell. If the Frenchman could keep going he would take fifth place behind his countryman, Lauvaux, who had reached home. But tottering backward and forward, he fell at last, twenty yards from the tape, rolled over like a man shot.
From the far side of the stadium, just by the gate, came shouts for help. The Spaniard, Andia Aguilar, running dazed and stupefied, turned to the left instead of right, then fell, splitting his scalp and knocking all the remaining consciousness out of his head. These were scenes inside the stadium. Outside there were worse. One after another in a heap six men fell not a quarter of a mile from home, broken by the pace and the pitiless sun which was blazing down.
It was partly the pace set by Nurmi that caused the disaster, but more the terrific heat of the sun. However, Nurmi and Ritola, were amazing. Since the week began the latter has raced thirty-nine kilometers and in every case has been first or second. Today he suffered more than Nurmi did but reached the tape still alert enough to trot off the course behind his fellow countryman. Nurmi’s time was 32:544/5 minutes.

 

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1890      Appearing in his only major league game, Mr. Lewis (first name unknown) yields 13 hits, walks seven batters, and allows 20 earned runs during the three innings of his major league debut at Brooklyn’s Eastern Park. The rookie’s performance contributes to the last place Buffalo Bisons’ 28-16 loss to the Wonders in the Players’ League contest.

1897      Louisville’s Tom McCreery hits three home runs, providing the difference in the Colonels’ 10-7 victory over the Phillies at the Baker Bowl. Each of the outfielder’s round-trippers is of the inside-the-park variety, and all are given up by Philadelphia right-hander Jack Taylor.

1901      At Boston’s Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds, Cy Young of the Americans seven-hits the A’s, 5-3, to win his 300th victory. The 34 year-old will win an additional 211 games to establish an amazing major league record of 511 career victories.

1906      At Robison Field, Sherry Magee establishes a franchise record by swiping four bases in the Phillies’ 7-6 loss to St. Louis. The Philadelphia outfielder’s mark, a feat he will repeat next month, will be equaled by Garry Maddox (1978) and Jayson Werth (2009).

1910      The legendary verse detailing the Cubs’ double-play combination of Tinker to Evers to Chance, entitled That Double Play Again, is published for the first time. When the ‘New York Evening Mail’ republishes the same poem six days later, the newspaper will use the title by which the poem is best known today, Baseball’s Sad Lexicon

1911      For the second time in his career, Ty Cobb completes the stolen base cycle in one inning when he steals second, third, and home in the first frame of the Tigers’ 9-0 Bennett Park victory over Philadelphia. The ‘Georgia Peach’ will accomplish the feat four times, establishing a major league mark shared with Honus Wagner.

1931      After setting a major league record in the first game with nine doubles, the Cubs and Cardinals combined to hit another twenty-three two-baggers in the second game for an incredible total of thirty-two doubles in their doubleheader.

1938      In a game against the Senators, Indian second baseman Odell Hale dramatically completes his cycle when his two-out, two-run round-tripper knots the score at eight runs apiece in the ninth inning. Washington wins the Griffith Stadium contest in the bottom of the frame, scoring the walk-off tally on a sacrifice fly delivered by Sam West.

1943      An Armed Forces All-Star team managed by Babe Ruth and featuring Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams plays a fund-raising game against the Braves in Boston. The All-Stars win on a Splendid Splinter’s’ home run, 9-8.

Amazon Playing for Their Nation: Baseball and the American Military during WW II

1945      Tommy Holmes goes 0-for-4 in the Braves’ 6-1 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field to end his consecutive-game hitting streak at 37, which sets a modern National League record. The mark will stand for 33 years until Pete Rose surpasses it in 1978 en route to establishing a new standard of 44, but the Reds’ infielder’s effort remains a game shy of the all-time record set by Willie Keeler’s 45-game streak over the 1896 and 1897 seasons with the NL’s Baltimore Orioles.

1949      The major league owners agree to install warning tracks made of cinder in front of outfield fences before the start of next season. The origin of the concept began at Yankee Stadium, where an actual running track, used in the ballpark’s track and field events, helped fielders know their proximity to the outfield fence when attempting to make a play.

1949      The first All-Star Game which includes black players is played at Ebbets Field. Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, and Don Newcombe represent the National League in an 11-7 loss to Larry Doby and his AL teammates.

1951      At Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Yankee right-hander Allie Reynolds, facing only 29 batters, no-hits the Indians, 1-0, thanks to Gene Woodling’s solo home run off Bob Feller in the seventh inning. The ‘Chief’ retires the last seventeen batters to face him, striking out Bobby Avila to end the game.

1955      At Milwaukee’s County Stadium, Cardinal outfielder Stan Musial comes to bat leading off the bottom of the 12th inning of a 5-5 All-Star deadlock. After Yankee catcher Yogi Berra complains about his feet hurting, ‘The Man’ tells him, “Don’t worry, I’ll have you home in a minute”, then promptly hits a game-winning home run off Frank Sullivan on the next pitch.

1962      Exactly one month after accomplishing the feat for the first time, the Aaron brothers both homer again in the same game, giving Milwaukee an exciting 8-6 victory over St. Louis at County Stadium. Behind 6-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, Tommie’s solo shot cuts the deficit to two runs, and his older sibling Hank seals the deal four batters later with a walk-off grand slam.

1966      The National League All-Stars edge the AL, 2-1, in a game played at the newly-built Busch Stadium when hometown favorite Tim McCarver scores the winning run on Dodger shortstop Maury Wills’s tenth-inning walk-off single, with Giants hurler Gaylord Perry getting the victory by tossing a scoreless ninth and tenth inning. The 105-degree weather, 113 degrees on the playing surface, results in nearly 150 people needing treatment for heat exhaustion.

1970      In the second inning of an eventual 7-3 win over the Orioles, the Tigers lay down a record-tying three sacrifice bunts and score a run on a sac fly. Detroit muffs Cesar Gutierrez’ and Mickey Lolich’s attempts to give themselves up, resulting in both players advancing a runner and reaching first base without making an out.

1979      After a delay of an hour and 16 minutes, the White Sox are forced to forfeit the second game of a twi-night doubleheader against the Tigers when over 5000 adolescent fans refuse to leave the field during Disco Demolition Night. Mike Veeck’s promotion involves admitting fans for 98 cents with a disco record, collecting the vinyl and then literally blowing up the LPs and .45s in center field.

1988      Terry Steinbach homers in his first at-bat as an All-Star. The A’s catcher becomes the first major leaguer to have homered in his first major league at-bat (9/12/86) and also in the Midsummer Classic.

1989      Yankee left-hander Ron Guidry retires from baseball, compiling a 170-91 record with a 3.29 ERA during his 14-year career with New York. In 1978, Gator won the American League’s Cy Young Award unanimously after enjoying one of the most incredible seasons in baseball history, posting a 25-3 record with an ERA of 1.74.

1990      In a six-inning rain-shortened game, White Sox starter Melido Perez no-hits the hometown Yankees, 8-0. His bother Pascual, who is watching from the New York bench, also hurled an abbreviated no-no for the Expos in 1988, holding the Phillies hitless for five innings at Veterans Stadium.

1992      In the Braves’ 7-4 victory over Chicago at Wrigley Field, Jeff Blauser becomes the fourth shortstop to hit three home runs in a game, joining the ranks of Ernie Banks (Cubs, 1955), Barry Larkin (Reds, 1991), and Fred Patek (Angels, 1980). The Atlanta infielder had hit only 39 homers in the past six seasons.

1993      Mariners’ outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. becomes the first and only major leaguer to hit Baltimore’s B&O Warehouse on the fly. The estimated 460-foot shot is launched during the All-Star Game home-run hitting contest at Camden Yards in 1993.

1994      At the Pirates’ Three Rivers Stadium, the National League ends its record six-game Mid-Summer Classic slump when Tony Gwynn scores on Moises Alou’s double in the tenth inning, giving the Senior Circuit an 8-7 victory. Fred McGriff is named MVP, earning the honor with his dramatic two-run home run off Lee Smith that tied the game in the bottom of the ninth.

1995      In a scene reminiscent to yesteryear, the first basemen leave their mitt in the field between innings throughout Montreal’s 3-2 victory over the Cubs. The Expos’ first baseman David Segui is really sharing his glove with Chicago’s Mark Grace, whose equipment did not arrive at Olympic Stadium, due to a shipping error.

1997      Roger Clemens, pitching in Fenway for the first time as an opponent, strikes out sixteen when the Blue Jays defeat Boston, 3-1. During the game, it appears the ‘Rocket’ is continually glaring up at Dan Duquette in the general manager’s suite.

1997      In front of a full house at Three Rivers Stadium on Jackie Robinson Night, two Pirates pitchers throw the first extra inning combined no-hitter in big league history. Ricardo Rinon takes over in the tenth inning to preserve starter Francisco Cordova’s effort and gets the win when Mark Smith pinch-hits a three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the inning.

1998      Mark McGwire becomes the second player to hit 40 home runs in both leagues. The Cardinals’ first baseman, who accomplished the feat three times with the A’s, joins Darrell Evans, who hit 41 with the Braves (1973) and 40 with the Tigers (1985).

1999      At Fenway Park, Mariner outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. wins the 14th annual Home Run Derby, a feat he also accomplished in 1994 and 1998. Eliminated after the second of three rounds, the Cardinal slugger Mark McGwire hits a then-record 13 round-trippers in the first round, including a 488-foot blast that clears the Green Monster, the street, and a parking garage before hitting a billboard above the train tracks.

2000      In a six-player deal, the Reds trade Denny Neagle (8-2, 3.52) and outfielder Mike Frank to the Yankees for minor league third baseman Drew Henson, outfielder Jackson Melian, and pitchers Brian Reith and Ed Yarnall.

2000      The Phillies trade hurler Andy Ashby to the Braves for pitcher Bruce Chen and Jimmy Osting. Atlanta gets the better of the midseason deal when Ashby wins eight games for his new club, compared to only three victories posted by Chen and none for Osting, who will never make the parent club.

2005      At the Home Run Derby in Detroit, Bobby Abreu shatters the records for a single round, the championship round, and the total for all three rounds of the derby by hitting 41 dingers into every part of Comerica Park. The Phillies outfielder, who was representing Venezuela in the event’s new international format, goes deep 24 times in the first round, tacks on six more in the second round, and finishes with 11 more in the championship round.

2005      During the All-Star Game Town Hall discussion, Bud Selig, believing the designated hitter is a big part of the game, states the rule will remain in use for the foreseeable future. The commissioner, however, makes it clear the National League will never adopt the 1973 addition to the American League rule book.

2006      The offensively-challenged Astros obtained Aubrey Huff from the Devil Rays in exchange for two minor league prospects, RHP Mitch Talbot and infielder Ben Zobrist, as well as cash. The team hopes the 30 year-old third baseman can provide some pop in the Houston lineup, presently for the worst batting average in the league.

2009      The Red Sox dedicate the center-field flagpole to Dom DiMaggio by raising a banner just below the stars and stripes with the former center fielder’s name on it. After the ceremony, his widow, Emily, throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Fenway Park contest against Kansas City.

2011      A half-hour after the Mid-summer Classic is completed, the Mets send former All-Star reliever Francisco Rodriguez and cash to the Brewers for two players to be named later. K-Rod, an outstanding closer for the Mets and Angels, will be used primarily as a set-up man for Milwaukee’s John Axford.

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STANDINGS

American League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
NY Yankees 57 31 .648 31 – 14 26 – 17 29 – 9 12 – 11 9 – 6 7 – 3 L 2
Tampa Bay 52 39 .571 6.5 26 – 22 26 – 17 19 – 17 14 – 10 10 – 8 6 – 4 W 2
Boston 49 41 .544 9 20 – 22 29 – 19 19 – 19 16 – 7 12 – 12 6 – 4 W 4
Toronto 34 57 .374 24.5 18 – 30 16 – 27 12 – 21 11 – 15 9 – 10 5 – 5 W 1
Baltimore 27 62 .303 30.5 11 – 31 16 – 31 13 – 26 7 – 15 5 – 15 5 – 5 L 1
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Minnesota 56 33 .629 28 – 15 28 – 18 17 – 9 19 – 11 17 – 9 4 – 6 L 1
Cleveland 50 38 .568 5.5 25 – 18 25 – 20 13 – 8 21 – 15 10 – 10 7 – 3 W 6
Chi White Sox 42 44 .488 12.5 25 – 20 17 – 24 13 – 17 22 – 16 4 – 6 6 – 4 W 1
Kansas City 30 61 .330 27 16 – 28 14 – 33 6 – 15 14 – 25 7 – 16 2 – 8 L 2
Detroit 28 57 .329 26 12 – 32 16 – 25 9 – 11 13 – 22 1 – 11 2 – 8 L 3
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Houston 57 34 .626 33 – 14 24 – 20 13 – 10 12 – 9 26 – 8 7 – 3 L 1
Oakland 50 41 .549 7 26 – 20 24 – 21 13 – 14 10 – 2 22 – 22 7 – 3 W 1
Texas 49 42 .538 8 30 – 17 19 – 25 7 – 6 13 – 7 21 – 22 4 – 6 W 2
LA Angels 45 46 .495 12 22 – 21 23 – 25 11 – 7 7 – 8 18 – 27 4 – 6 L 2
Seattle 39 55 .415 19.5 19 – 29 20 – 26 7 – 8 10 – 13 19 – 27 2 – 8 L 1

 

National League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Atlanta 54 37 .593 28 – 19 26 – 18 22 – 14 17 – 9 11 – 12 6 – 4 W 1
Washington 47 42 .528 6 26 – 20 21 – 22 25 – 17 5 – 11 10 – 11 8 – 2 W 2
Philadelphia 47 43 .522 6.5 27 – 17 20 – 26 24 – 22 11 – 9 7 – 9 5 – 5 W 1
NY Mets 40 50 .444 13.5 23 – 19 17 – 31 21 – 23 7 – 14 7 – 9 3 – 7 L 1
Miami 33 55 .375 19.5 15 – 29 18 – 26 15 – 31 7 – 16 6 – 4 3 – 7 L 1
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Chi Cubs 47 43 .522 29 – 16 18 – 27 14 – 11 15 – 16 10 – 9 4 – 6 L 1
Milwaukee 47 44 .516 0.5 27 – 18 20 – 26 14 – 8 24 – 18 6 – 11 4 – 6 L 2
St. Louis 44 44 .500 2 24 – 18 20 – 26 16 – 14 15 – 17 7 – 6 4 – 6 L 2
Pittsburgh 44 45 .494 2.5 22 – 21 22 – 24 6 – 7 18 – 18 10 – 16 6 – 4 W 2
Cincinnati 41 46 .471 4.5 24 – 21 17 – 25 9 – 7 18 – 21 8 – 9 5 – 5 L 2
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
LA Dodgers 60 32 .652 37 – 12 23 – 20 11 – 3 19 – 11 29 – 15 5 – 5 L 3
Arizona 46 45 .505 13.5 20 – 22 26 – 23 10 – 7 8 – 5 19 – 29 6 – 4 W 3
San Diego 45 45 .500 14 23 – 24 22 – 21 10 – 10 9 – 11 19 – 21 5 – 5 W 3
Colorado 44 45 .494 14.5 24 – 19 20 – 26 10 – 12 7 – 6 20 – 21 3 – 7 L 6
San Francisco 41 48 .461 17.5 20 – 26 21 – 22 4 – 9 8 – 8 23 – 24 7 – 3 W 2

 

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER STANDINGS

Eastern
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Philadelphia 21 10 6 5 39 28 11 6-3-2 4-3-3 36
D.C. 20 8 7 5 25 21 4 5-4-2 3-3-3 31
Atlanta 19 9 3 7 27 23 4 6-3-1 3-0-6 30
Montreal 21 9 3 9 26 34 -8 5-1-3 4-2-6 30
New York City FC 17 7 8 2 30 20 10 4-4-1 3-4-1 29
New York 19 8 4 7 33 27 6 6-1-3 2-3-4 28
Toronto FC 19 6 5 8 30 33 -3 4-3-3 2-2-5 23
New England 19 6 5 8 22 36 -14 4-2-4 2-3-4 23
Orlando City SC 19 6 4 9 27 27 0 3-1-5 3-3-4 22
Chicago 20 5 7 8 31 29 2 5-4-1 0-3-7 22
Columbus 20 5 2 13 17 30 -13 4-2-6 1-0-7 17
FC Cincinnati 19 4 2 13 18 44 -26 3-1-4 1-1-9 14
Western
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Los Angeles FC 19 13 4 2 50 16 34 8-1-0 5-3-2 43
Los Angeles 19 11 1 7 26 22 4 7-0-3 4-1-4 34
Seattle 19 9 5 5 29 25 4 7-2-0 2-3-5 32
Minnesota 19 9 3 7 36 29 7 5-3-1 4-0-6 30
FC Dallas 20 8 5 7 29 25 4 6-4-1 2-1-6 29
San Jose 19 8 4 7 30 30 0 7-1-3 1-3-4 28
Houston 18 8 3 7 28 25 3 7-3-0 1-0-7 27
Real Salt Lake 19 8 2 9 25 29 -4 6-0-2 2-2-7 26
Portland 17 7 2 8 26 28 -2 2-0-1 5-2-7 23
Sporting KC 19 5 7 7 29 34 -5 4-3-3 1-4-4 22
Vancouver 20 4 8 8 22 31 -9 3-4-3 1-4-5 20
Colorado 19 5 4 10 29 38 -9 4-2-5 1-2-5 19

 

WNBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
W L Pct GB Home Road Conf Last 10 Streak
Washington Mystics 9 5 .643 4-2 5-3 6-2 6-4 2 L
Connecticut Sun 9 6 .600 0.5 6-1 3-5 5-3 5-5 5 L
Chicago Sky 7 8 .467 2.5 5-3 2-5 3-3 4-6 1 L
New York Liberty 7 8 .467 2.5 3-5 4-3 1-4 6-4 1 L
Indiana Fever 6 10 .375 4.0 2-5 4-5 3-3 3-7 1 L
Atlanta Dream 4 10 .286 5.0 3-5 1-5 2-5 3-7 1 W
Western Conference
W L Pct GB Home Road Conf Last 10 Streak
Las Vegas Aces 10 5 .667 6-2 4-3 4-2 8-2 4 W
Minnesota Lynx 9 6 .600 1.0 5-3 4-3 3-4 5-5 3 W
Phoenix Mercury 7 6 .538 2.0 4-2 3-4 3-4 6-4 2 W
Seattle Storm 8 8 .500 2.5 5-3 3-5 3-3 5-5 3 L
Los Angeles Sparks 7 7 .500 2.5 4-2 3-5 3-4 5-5 1 L
Dallas Wings 5 9 .357 4.5 5-3 0-6 3-2 5-5 1 W