MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
NO GAMES PLAYED-ALL-STAR BREAK
NATIONAL LEAGUE 3 AMERICAN LEAGUE 2
INDIANA PLAYERS IN MLB DRAFT
MAX CLARK, OF, FRANKLIN HS — ROUND 1, PICK NO. 3 (DETROIT)
TRENNOR O’DONNELL, RHP, BALL STATE — ROUND 8, PICK NO. 238 (BOSTON)
CRAIG YOHO, RHP, INDIANA — ROUND 8, PICK NO. 242 (MILWAUKEE)
RYAN BROWN, RHP, BALL STATE — ROUND 9, PICK NO. 280 (L.A. DODGERS)
PHILLIP GLASSER, INF, INDIANA — ROUND 10, PICK 285 (WASHINGTON)
BISHOP LETSON, RHP, FLOYD CENTRAL HS — ROUND 11, PICK 332 (MILWAUKEE)
TY JOHNSON, RHP, BALL STATE — ROUND 15, PICK 446 (CHICAGO CUBS)
JOSH ADAMCZEWSKI, SS, LAKE CENTRAL HS — ROUND 15 PICK 452 (MILWAUKEE)
MATT JACHEC, RHP, INDIANA STATE — ROUND 18 PICK 548 (CLEVELAND)
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
NO GAMES SCHEDULED
MYSTICS 93 STORM 86
ACES 98 MERCURY 72
2023 INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ”TRI-EASTERN” SCHEDULE
FRIDAY, AUG. 18
CENTERVILLE AT LINCOLN ©, 7 PM
KNIGHTSTOWN AT HAGERSTOWN ©, 7 PM
MONROE CENTRAL AT WINCHESTER, 7 PM
NORTHEASTERN AT UNION COUNTY ©, 7 PM
TRI AT UNION CITY ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, AUG. 25
CENTERVILLE AT HAGERSTOWN ©, 7 PM
KNIGHTSTOWN AT WINCHESTER ©, 7 PM
TRI AT NORTHEASTERN ©, 7 PM
UNION CITY AT MONROE CENTRAL, 7:30 PM
UNION COUNTY AT LINCOLN ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, SEP. 1
LINCOLN AT TRI ©, 7 PM
EASTERN HANCOCK AT CENTERVILLE, 7 PM
HAGERSTOWN AT UNION CITY ©, 7 PM
UNION COUNTY AT KNIGHTSTOWN ©, 7 PM
WINCHESTER AT NORTHEASTERN ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, SEP. 8
CENTERVILLE AT WINCHESTER ©, 7 PM
HAGERSTOWN AT UNION COUNTY ©, 7 PM
MONROE CENTRAL AT TRI, 7 PM
NORTHEASTERN AT LINCOLN ©, 7 PM
UNION CITY AT KNIGHTSTOWN ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, SEP. 15
LINCOLN AT HAGERSTOWN ©, 7 PM
KNIGHTSTOWN AT EASTERN HANCOCK, 7 PM
TRI AT CENTERVILLE ©, 7 PM
UNION CITY AT NORTHEASTERN ©, 7 PM
WINCHESTER AT UNION COUNTY ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, SEP. 22
HAGERSTOWN AT SHENANDOAH, 7 PM
KNIGHTSTOWN AT LINCOLN ©, 7 PM
NORTHEASTERN AT CENTERVILLE ©, 7 PM
UNION COUNTY AT UNION CITY ©, 7 PM
WINCHESTER AT TRI ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, SEP. 29
LINCOLN AT UNION CITY ©, 7 PM
CENTERVILLE AT UNION COUNTY ©, 7 PM
HAGERSTOWN AT WINCHESTER ©, 7 PM
SHENANDOAH AT NORTHEASTERN, 7 PM
TRI AT KNIGHTSTOWN ©, 7 PM
FRIDAY, OCT. 6
LINCOLN AT WINCHESTER ©, 7 PM
NORTHEASTERN AT KNIGHTSTOWN ©, 7 PM
TRI AT HAGERSTOWN ©, 7 PM
UNION CITY AT CENTERVILLE ©, 7 PM
UNION COUNTY AT WES-DEL, 7 PM
FRIDAY, OCT. 13
HAGERSTOWN AT NORTHEASTERN ©, 7 PM
KNIGHTSTOWN AT CENTERVILLE ©, 7 PM
UNION COUNTY AT TRI ©, 7 PM
WES-DEL AT LINCOLN, 7 PM
WINCHESTER AT UNION CITY ©, 7 PM
BIG 10 WEEKLY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
MINNESOTA VS. NEBRASKA
THURSDAY, AUG. 31
WISCONSIN VS. BUFFALO
MICHIGAN STATE VS. CENTRAL MICHIGAN
MICHIGAN VS. EAST CAROLINA
PURDUE VS. FRESNO STATE
RUTGERS VS. NORTHWESTERN
INDIANA VS. OHIO STATE
ILLINOIS VS. TOLEDO
MARYLAND VS. TOWSON
IOWA VS. UTAH STATE
PENN STATE VS. WEST VIRGINIA
MARYLAND VS. CHARLOTTE
PENN STATE VS. DELAWARE
MINNESOTA VS. EASTERN MICHIGAN
ILLINOIS AT KANSAS
INDIANA VS. INDIANA STATE
IOWA AT IOWA STATE
NEBRASKA AT COLORADO
PURDUE AT VIRGINIA TECH
MICHIGAN STATE VS. RICHMOND
RUTGERS VS. TEMPLE
MICHIGAN VS. UNLV
NORTHWESTERN VS. UTEP
WISCONSIN AT WASHINGTON STATE
OHIO STATE VS. YOUNGSTOWN STATE
MICHIGAN VS. BOWLING GREEN
WISCONSIN VS. GEORGIA SOUTHERN
INDIANA VS. LOUISVILLE (IN INDIANAPOLIS, IN)
MINNESOTA AT NORTH CAROLINA
NEBRASKA VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS
NORTHWESTERN AT DUKE
ILLINOIS VS. PENN STATE
PURDUE VS. SYRACUSE
MARYLAND VS. VIRGINIA
RUTGERS VS. VIRGINIA TECH
MICHIGAN STATE VS. WASHINGTON
IOWA VS. WESTERN MICHIGAN
OHIO STATE VS. WESTERN KENTUCKY
INDIANA VS. AKRON
ILLINOIS VS. FLORIDA ATLANTIC
PENN STATE VS. IOWA
NEBRASKA VS. LOUISIANA TECH
MICHIGAN STATE VS. MARYLAND
NORTHWESTERN VS. MINNESOTA
OHIO STATE AT NOTRE DAME
MICHIGAN VS. RUTGERS
PURDUE VS. WISCONSIN
PURDUE VS. ILLINOIS
MARYLAND VS. INDIANA
MINNESOTA VS. LOUISIANA
NEBRASKA VS. MICHIGAN
IOWA VS. MICHIGAN STATE
NORTHWESTERN VS. PENN STATE
RUTGERS VS. WAGNER
NORTHWESTERN VS. HOWARD
OHIO STATE VS. MARYLAND
MINNESOTA VS. MICHIGAN
ILLINOIS VS. NEBRASKA
IOWA VS. PURDUE
WISCONSIN VS. RUTGERS
MARYLAND VS. ILLINOIS
MICHIGAN VS. INDIANA
WISCONSIN VS. IOWA
RUTGERS VS. MICHIGAN STATE
PURDUE VS. OHIO STATE
PENN STATE VS. UMASS
MICHIGAN STATE VS. MICHIGAN
IOWA VS. MINNESOTA
NEBRASKA VS. NORTHWESTERN
OHIO STATE VS. PENN STATE
INDIANA VS. RUTGERS
ILLINOIS VS. WISCONSIN
PENN STATE VS. INDIANA
NORTHWESTERN VS. MARYLAND
MINNESOTA VS. MICHIGAN STATE
WISCONSIN VS. OHIO STATE
NEBRASKA VS. PURDUE
MINNESOTA VS. ILLINOIS
NORTHWESTERN VS. IOWA (IN CHICAGO, IL)
MICHIGAN STATE VS. NEBRASKA
RUTGERS VS. OHIO STATE
MARYLAND VS. PENN STATE
MICHIGAN VS. PURDUE
INDIANA VS. WISCONSIN
ILLINOIS VS. INDIANA
NEBRASKA VS. MARYLAND
PENN STATE VS. MICHIGAN
OHIO STATE VS. MICHIGAN STATE
PURDUE VS. MINNESOTA
WISCONSIN VS. NORTHWESTERN
IOWA VS. RUTGERS
IOWA VS. ILLINOIS
MARYLAND VS. MICHIGAN
INDIANA VS. MICHIGAN STATE
OHIO STATE VS. MINNESOTA
WISCONSIN VS. NEBRASKA
NORTHWESTERN VS. PURDUE
PENN STATE VS. RUTGERS
NEBRASKA VS. IOWA
FRIDAY, NOV. 24
PURDUE VS. INDIANA
RUTGERS VS. MARYLAND
ILLINOIS VS. NORTHWESTERN
MICHIGAN VS. OHIO STATE
MICHIGAN STATE VS. PENN STATE
MINNESOTA VS. WISCONSIN
COLTS TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
WEDNESDAY, JULY 26 – 10-11 A.M.
SATURDAY, AUG. 5 – 6-7:30 P.M.
SUNDAY, AUG. 6 – 2-3:45 P.M.
SATURDAY, AUG. 5 – 6-7:30 P.M.
SUNDAY, AUG. 6 – 2-3:45 P.M.
TUESDAY, AUG. 8 – 9-10:30 A.M.
THURSDAY, AUG. 10 – 9-10 A.M.
TUESDAY, AUG. 15 – 9-10 A.M.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 16 – 6-8 P.M.
THURSDAY, AUG. 17 – 6-8 P.M.
Major League Baseball
TAMPA BAY RAYS — Reinstated 3B Josh Lowe. Optioned 2B Jonathan Aranda to Durham (IL).
National Basketball Association
DETROIT PISTONS — Re-signed F Isaiah Stewart to a rookie contract extension.
PHOENIX SUNS — Traded F Isaiah Todd and two future first-round draft picks to Memphis in exchange for three future second-round draft picks. Re-signed G/F Josh Okogie.
National Hockey League
ANAHEIM DUCKS —Named Brent Thompson assistant coach.
ARIZONA COYOTES — Signed D Montana Onyebuchi to a two-year, entry-level contract.
BOSTON BRUINS — Signed C Marc McLaughlin to a one-year, two-way contract.
CAROLINA HURRICANES — Signed LW Brendan Lemieux to a one-year contract.
MONTREAL CANADIENS — Signed C Alex Newhook to a four-year contract.
NASHVILLE PREDATORS — Signed F Denis Gurianov to a one-year contract.
NEW YORK RANGERS — Signed D K’Andre Miller to a two-year contract.
OTTAWA SENATORS — Signed G Kevin Mandolese to a one-year, two-way contract.
Major League Soccer
MLS DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE — Found FC Cincinnati D Ian Murphy guilty of failing to leave the field in a timely manner in the 75th minute of Cincinnati’s match against Charlotte FC on July 8. Found New England Revolution M Latif Blessing guilty of failing to leave the field in a timely manner in the 61st minute of New England’s match against the New York Red Bulls on July 8. Found Minnesota United FC F Bongokuhle Hlongwane guilty of simulation-embellishment in the 68th minute of Minnesota’s match against Austin FC on July 8. Found San Jose Earthquakes G Daniel guilty of failing to leave the field in a timely manner in the 56th minute of San Jose’s match against the Los Angeles Football Club on July 8. Found Columbus Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy guilty of failing to leave the field in a timely and orderly manner in the 87th minute of Columbus’s match against New York City FC on July 8. Suspended Houston Dynamo FC F Sebastián Ferreira for one match and fined Ferreira an undisclosed amount for violent conduct in the 90th minute of Houston’s match against Sporting Kansas City on July 8. Suspended Columbus Crew head coach Wilfried Nancy for one additional match (two matches total) and fined Nancy an undisclosed amount for irresponsible behavior in the 87th minute of Columbus’s match against New York City FC on July 8. Suspended Columbus Crew technical staff member Federico Pizzuto for two additional matches (three matches total) and fined Pizzuto an undisclosed amount for violent conduct – throwing liquid at and on a match official in the 88th minute of Columbus’s match against New York City FC on July 8.
FC CINCINNATI — Named Bobby Edwards Academy goalkeeper coach.
LA GALAXY — Acquired D Tony Alfaro from New York City FC in exchange for $125,000 in general allocation money (GAM). Placed D Martin Caceres on the injured list.
NEW YORK CITY FC — Acquired F Mounsef Bakrar from NK Istra (Croatian Football League) through 2026, pending receipt of his international transfer certificate (ITC) and P-1 visa.
PHILADELPHIA UNION — Signed Head Coach Jim Curtin to a contract extension through 2026.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC — Signed M Andres Cubas to a contract extension through 2026.
RHODE ISLAND — Named Meghan Reall assistant women’s basketball coach.
TOP NATIONAL RELEASES/HEADLINES
NATIONAL LEAGUE SNAPS ALL-STAR GAME LOSING STREAK, TOPS AL 3-2 BEHIND ELIAS DÍAZ HOMER
SEATTLE (AP) Elias Díaz hit a two-run homer off Félix Bautista in the eighth inning, and the National League snapped a nine-game losing streak in the All-Star Game with a 3-2 win over the American League on Tuesday night.
The NL won for the first time since an 8-0 victory in 2012 in Kansas City thanks to Díaz, a catcher who became the first Rockies player to win the All-Star MVP award.
“This means a lot to me, to my family,” he said. “Being in the ASG for me is amazing.”
Díaz, who was non-tendered by the Pirates at the end of 2019, drove a 2-2 pitch from Baltimore’s hard-throwing closer deep to left to put the NL in front. Díaz was the lone representative for Colorado in his first All-Star Game appearance.
“It does matter. We wanted to win, the American League we wanted to win,” Bautista said through an interpreter. “But overall I think that it’s an experience I’ll never forget and just wish that would have been a little bit different.”
Díaz has nine homers this season, but hadn’t hit a long ball since June 23 against the Los Angeles Angels.
For most of the night, the All-Star Game was a pitchers’ duel highlighted by a couple big hits and some excellent defense.
It got nervous for the NL in the ninth. Wander Franco flied out to the warning track leading off against Philadelphia closer Craig Kimbrel, who issued two-out walks to Kyle Tucker and Seattle star Julio Rodríguez.
Kimbrel recovered to strike out José Ramírez to end it. Kimbrel also pitched in the previous NL win, recording two outs in 2012.
“The ninth inning in the dugout was just a lot of fun to experience,” said San Diego’s Josh Hader, who pitched the eighth for the NL.
Yandy Díaz hit a solo homer in the second inning and Bo Bichette’s sacrifice fly in the sixth inning gave the AL a 2-1 lead.
J.D. Martinez doubled and scored on Luis Arraez’s single in the fourth against Seattle’s George Kirby, tying it at 1. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. appeared to tie the game again in the seventh when his shot down the left-field line was originally ruled a homer but was overturned as a foul ball on replay.
The All-Star Game returned to the Emerald City for the first time since 2001 when the Mariners were in the middle of their magical 116-win regular season, Cal Ripken Jr. said goodbye to the All-Star stage and Tommy Lasorda took a tumble.
Gerrit Cole became the first New York Yankees pitcher to start the All-Star Game since Roger Clemens in that 2001 game. He needed a pair of spectacular leaping catches from Adolis García and Randy Arozarena near the wall to escape the first inning unscathed.
Pitching was the story of the night. Only nine balls were hit over 100 mph. There were 20 combined strikeouts, including Camilo Doval silencing the home crowd with a strikeout of Rodríguez in the seventh inning where four of the five pitches topped 100 mph.
The All-Star Game was missing some big names with Mike Trout and Aaron Judge out with injuries, but it still had Shohei Ohtani.
The Angels star had an uneventful night with a strikeout and walk as the designated hitter. He drew the biggest cheers outside of Seattle’s three representatives during introductions, and he was serenaded with chants of “Come to Seattle” when he was at the plate.
The hometown crowd is well aware of his pending free agency this offseason.
“Never experienced anything like that, but I definitely heard it,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “But I was trying to focus on my at-bat.”
Toronto reliever Jordan Romano left in the seventh after throwing the pitch that Gurriel hit foul and was originally ruled fair. He threw five pitches before leaving the game with tightness in his back.
Chicago White Sox slugger Luis Robert Jr. did not play after feeling tightness in his right calf during the Home Run Derby. The White Sox said Robert underwent an MRI in Seattle and is listed as day to day.
The Rangers made All-Star history when Nathan Eovaldi took the mound in the second. That marked the third time in an All-Star Game when there were six players from the same team on the field at the same time. It also occurred with the 1939 Yankees and 1951 Dodgers.
The Baseball Hall of Fame said a ball signed by all six players in the game would be headed to Cooperstown.
“That’s got to be one of the cooler moments in sports when you’ve got half the team on the field is your team, especially under these circumstances,” catcher Jonah Heim said. “It’s really special and I was glad I got to share it with these guys today.”
The Tampa Bay duo of Shane McClanahan and Wander Franco were inadvertently skipped over during pregame introductions. The pair jogged in on their own and left it to the Rays’ social media staff to give them a proper announcement.
ODE TO THE SONICS
Milwaukee’s Devin Williams has no known connection to Seattle, but did his part in winning over fans with his footwear choice for the All-Star Game. Williams had custom green and yellow spikes made for the game, featuring past logos of the Seattle SuperSonics on each shoe.
Williams said he’s a casual NBA fan and doesn’t really remember the Sonics playing in Seattle.
“It seemed pretty fitting for the game,” Williams said.
Six of the eight members of Seattle’s All-Star contingent from the 2001 game were recognized pregame. John Olerud, Bret Boone, Freddy Garcia, Jeff Nelson, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Edgar Martinez and manager Lou Piniella were honored. Ichiro Suzuki and Mike Cameron were also on the All-Star team that season.
Baseball Hall of Famers Martinez and Ken Griffey Jr. threw out the ceremonial first pitches to former teammates Dan Wilson and Jay Buhner.
The post-All-Star break portion of the schedule starts Friday with every team in the league scheduled to be in action. San Diego at Philadelphia is the first game scheduled for Friday. The second half begins with Atlanta having the best record in baseball at 60-29 and an 8½-game lead in the NL East. Tampa Bay has the best record in the American League at 58-35, two games better than Baltimore.
MANFRED HAS NO INTENTION OF ALTERING PETE ROSE’S LIFETIME BAN FROM BASEBALL
SEATTLE (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has no intention of altering Pete Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball, and said the sport’s commercial deals with gambling companies have no impact on the status of the career hits leader.
Rose agreed to a lifetime ban in 1989 after an investigation for Major League Baseball by lawyer John Dowd found Rose placed numerous bets on the Cincinnati Reds to win from 1985-87 while playing for and managing the team.
The Hall of Fame’s board decided in 1991 that players on the permanently ineligible list also may not appear on the Hall ballot. Rose asked the Hall in 2016 to change the rule.
Rose applied for reinstatement in 1997 and met with Commissioner Bud Selig in 2002, but Selig never ruled on Rose’s application. Manfred succeeded Selig in 2015 and rejected Rose’s application.
“We’ve always approached the issue of gambling from the proposition that players and other people who are in a position to influence the outcome of the game are going to be subject to a different set of rules than everyone else in the world,” Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday.
“Pete Rose violated what is sort of rule one in baseball, and the consequences of that are clear in the rule, and we’ve continued to abide by our own rules,” Manfred added. “It’s just the rules are different for players. It’s part of the responsibility that comes with the privilege of being a major league player.”
Manfred minimized MLB’s revenue from gaming companies.
“I think people believe we make more money off gambling than we actually do,” he said.
MLB SAYS TEAMS HAVE GOTTEN 94% OF MONEY OWED TO THEM BY DIAMOND SPORTS
SEATTLE (AP) — Major League Baseball says teams have collected 94% of the money they have been owed by Diamond Sports.
The company controls 19 networks under the Bally Sports banner and has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in Texas since March. MLB took over rights to San Diego Padres telecasts on May 31 after a rights payment was missed.
“Of the rights fees that have come due, I think we’ve collected 94% of those rights fees so far. And that’s really important,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday. “We have backstopped clubs to make sure that there isn’t some unforeseen alteration in their revenue, and all that’s designed to put clubs in a position to not have disruption when it comes to the most important side of their business, that is putting a good team on the field.”
MLB’s sales of Padres broadcasts in San Diego are “well into the five figures,” according to Manfred.
“Well before the Diamond bankruptcy, we were kind of on the topic of that part of the media landscape changing,” he said. “Our goal from the beginning has been to make a transition from the current situation into a new model that did two things, number one, increase the availability of our games to fans, and number two, to minimize any financial disruption for clubs.”
ATLANTA’S TRUIST PARK AND CHICAGO’S WRIGLEY FIELD UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR MLB ALL-STAR GAMES
SEATTLE (AP) — The Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs are under consideration for upcoming All-Star Games.
Next year’s game is scheduled for the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field in Arlington, and the 2026 game will be at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park to mark the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
The 2021 All-Star Game was awarded to Atlanta’s Truist Park by Major League Baseball in 2019 but in April 2021 was moved to Denver’s Coors Field following objections to sweeping changes to Georgia’s voting laws.
“Atlanta is in the mix of clubs for the ’25 All-Star Game,” Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday. “I’m not prepared to go past that for right now.”
Chicago’s Wrigley Field last hosted the All-Stars in 1990.
“As time goes by, I’ve been more focused on keeping track of when a game was last there and trying to get back to places where we haven’t been in a really long time,” Manfred said. “That’s a long time.”
MLB EXPERIMENTING WITH PEARL WHITE BASEBALLS TO RID STICKY STUFF PROBLEM
SEATTLE (AP) — Pristine white baseballs that would not require rubbing are under consideration by Major League Baseball as a way to solve the issue of pitchers using sticky substances for better grip.
“We continue to work with the people at Dow Chemical on developing a tacky ball,” Commissioner Ron Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday. “It would literally eliminate all — well, not all — but many of the variables in the current process. It would come out of a sealed foil pouch at the ballpark. No individual mudding.”
MLB executive vice president Morgan Sword said the balls were tested in the first half of this season in the Double-A Southern League. The balls would retain colored stitches.
“Like everything in baseball, when you inch towards a solution, you figure out another problem,” Manfred said. “The baseball, if we get there with the Dow people, would be a pearl, right? A pure white baseball. I think if you take hitters and pitchers out front here and ask ‘em what they think of a pure white baseball, you’re going to find out that it’s a pretty controversial topic. So not only do we have the science that we’re continuing to work on but we’re going to have to get over that sort of policy issue of: Is a pure white baseball a good thing?”
Five pitchers have been suspended for 10 games each since MLB began its crackdown on banned grip substances in June 2021 by instituting regular inspections by umpires.
Seattle’s Hector Santiago and Arizona’s Caleb Smith served suspensions in 2021 and three were disciplined this season: the Mets’ Max Scherzer, the Yankees’ Domingo Germán on May 17 and the Mets’ Drew Smith on June 14.
“The suspensions that we have had would fall into the category of clear-to-egregious violations,” Manfred said. “I understand that feeling someone’s hand is inherently subjective. I think this is an area where umpires, again, with a difficult topic, have shown great judgment and discretion. I think gray areas, players have definitely been given the benefit of the doubt.”
Baseballs currently are rubbed with mud to make them less slick. MLB standardized rubbing procedures among the 30 teams last year.
MLB OPEN TO CONSIDER INCREASING TIME ON PITCH CLOCK IN POSTSEASON
SEATTLE (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred will consider increasing time on the pitch clock for the postseason but is reluctant to adjust an innovation the sport considers a great success.
In the first season of the clock, the average time of a nine-inning game is 2 hours, 38 minutes, on track to be the fastest since 1984. It is down from 3:04 last year and 3:09 in 2021, the last season before PitchCom was introduced.
“We’re going to continue to talk to the players,” Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday. “I think you ought to play the postseason the way you play the regular season. There’s exceptions. I’m open-minded on that topic.”
The clock is set at 15 seconds with no runners on base and 20 seconds with runners. There also are restrictions on defensive shifts and limits on pitcher disengagements.
“I don’t believe there’s any player, nor do I believe there are too many folks that want to have a new rule dramatically affect a game in a pennant chase or in the playoffs,” union head Tony Clark told the BBWAA. “Players believe and we’ve been pretty consistent with this, that there are some adjustments that could be beneficial in the grand scheme of things so that we’re not having a conversation about a new rule and instead focused in on the game being played.”
MLB has a majority of the 11-member competition committee, which includes four players.
“We are comfortable with the way the clock and the violations, particularly late in the game in high-leverage situations we’ve been watching, have been managed,” Manfred said,
There were 721 violations through July 4, of which 501 were by pitchers, 208 by batters and 12 by catchers. Philadelphia’s Craig Kimbrel lead currently with 11 violations, followed by Toronto’s Chris Bassitt with nine and San Diego’s Joe Musgrove with seven.
“In a big spot,” Kimbrel said Monday, “if it’s 1-2, 0-2, I’m really thinking about my pitch and wanting to make a good pitch. I’m not going to rush just to get the pitch off. I’d rather take the ball.”
Left-handed batters are hitting .248, up 13 points through the similar point last season. Righties are hitting .248, up one point, leaving the overall batting average up six points.
Runs per game have increased to 9.1 from 8.7 and steals per game to 1.4 from 1.0.
Average attendance of 28,404 is up 8.1% from a similar time last year and on track to be the highest since 2018, and MLB says the median age of ticket buyers is 43, down from 46 in 2022 and 49 in 2019. This is the first season since 2000 with a balanced schedule.
OAKLAND ATHLETICS START THE PROCESS OF APPLYING TO MLB FOR A MOVE TO LAS VEGAS
SEATTLE (AP) — The Oakland Athletics have started the process of applying to Major League Baseball to move to Las Vegas.
MLB last month established a relocation committee to evaluate the move, a group headed by Milwaukee Brewers chairman Mark Attanasio. Philadelphia Phillies CEO John Middleton and Kansas City Royals CEO John Sherman also are on the committee.
“They have begun to submit information related to their relocation application,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday. “It’s not complete at this point.”
Nevada’s Legislature approved providing $380 million in public financing for a proposed $1.5 billion, 30,000-seat ballpark with a retractable roof on the Tropicana hotel site of the Las Vegas Strip. The new venue would be close to Allegiant Stadium, where the NFL’s Oakland Raiders moved to in 2020, and T-Mobile Arena, where the newly crowned Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights started play in 2017 as an expansion team.
A move would have to be approved by at least 75% of the 30 major league teams.
“My single biggest disappointment is because of the kind of political process in Oakland, we didn’t find a solution to keep the A’s in Oakland,” Manfred said. “That’s number one on the disappointment list.”
Las Vegas would become the fourth home for a franchise that started in Philadelphia in 1901 (through 1954), moved to Kansas City for 13 seasons and arrived in Oakland in 1968.
The team’s lease at the Coliseum expires after the 2024 season. It remains unclear where the team would play until a new ballpark opens in Las Vegas.
“Our relocation guidelines actually spell out pretty clearly what needs to be included in your application. One of the things that you have to include is what’s going to happen during the interim period,” Manfred said. “They have not made a submission on that topic yet.”
At 25-67, the A’s have the worst record in the major leagues and are on pace to finish 44-118, the worst record since the 2003 Detroit Tigers lost 119 games.
Oakland, with a major league-low $57.8 million opening-day payroll, is averaging a major league-low 10,089 attendance through 44 home games, up from 8,410 at a similar point last year. The A’s have had 26 home games drawing under 10,000, including a low of 2,064 against Arizona on May 15.
Since the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers for 1972, the only team to relocate has been the Montreal Expos, who became the Washington Nationals in 2005.
Manfred said MLB will consider expansion only after the A’s and Tampa Bay Rays obtain new ballparks.
“I hope pretty shortly thereafter we would put together an expansion committee and start talking internally first about this issues associated with expansion,” he said. “You’re talking about diminishing the central revenue available to each of the 30 (teams), making it 32. You got to figure out the impact of that and then you’ve got to talk about what you would be looking for in terms of an expansion fee in order to offset that.”
St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch in January announced a plan for a ballpark that would be built near Tropicana Field, the Rays’ home since the team started play in 1998. The Rays have not committed to a site. Manfred said “I remain hopeful” of progress this year.
“They have stayed engaged with governmental entities throughout the Bay Area,” Manfred said. “I think that the conversations have moved into — throughout the region — have moved into a more concrete period, a concrete zone in terms of the conversations that are going on.”
As part of an expansion decision, Manfred envisions MLB examining the competition format.
“If you’re going to go to 32, are you going to make format divisional changes? What should it look like?” Manfred said. “So there’s some internal work that’s going to take some time to get done. And then I think ultimately you go to the markets.”
Speaking before Manfred, union head Tony Clark said players are willing to discuss reducing the schedule from 162 games.
“That conversation often stops with the conversation that we had during COVID, which is rolling back player salaries,” Clark said. “So if there’s a conversation to be had about creating extra flexibility in the schedule and what that might look like, whether that’s 154 games, 158 games, 160 games, we can continue that to have that dialogue.”
SAINTS’ ALVIN KAMARA PLEADS NO CONTEST TO A MISDEMEANOR IN THE BEATING OF A MAN AT A LAS VEGAS CLUB
LAS VEGAS (AP) — New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge stemming from a fight last year that left a man unconscious at a Las Vegas nightclub, his attorney said Tuesday.
Kamara and three other men faced felony and misdemeanor charges for allegedly punching, kicking and stomping on Darnell Greene Jr. of Houston outside an elevator at the club. The altercation came a day before the NFL’s 2022 Pro Bowl.
Kamara played in the Pro Bowl and was arrested after the game.
A felony battery charge carried up to a five-year sentence. Kamara instead pleaded no contest to breach of peace, and will serve community service and pay restitution to the victim.
His attorneys, David Chesnoff, Richard Schonfeld and Drew Findling, issued a statement that read: “Alvin is pleased that this matter is behind him and looks forward to a successful NFL season.”
Kamara faces a possible suspension by the NFL.
“We have been closely monitoring all developments in the matter which remains under review,” the NFL said in a statement.
The Saints had no comment.
SAUDI INVESTMENT IN PGA TOUR WILL TOP $1 BILLION. AND NORMAN WILL EXIT AS LIV’S CEO, TOUR EXEC SAYS
WASHINGTON (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has agreed to invest more than $1 billion in a new commercial entity controlled by the PGA Tour, and Greg Norman will be ousted as the CEO of LIV Golf if the business deal between the Saudis and the tour is finalized, a tour executive told Congress on Tuesday.
The agreement between the Saudi Public Investment Fund, the primary funder of LIV Golf, and the PGA Tour shocked the golf world when it was announced last month and led to probes by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which summoned tour officials to the Capitol to testify under oath, and the Justice Department, which is looking into potential antitrust violations.
Among the subcommittee’s findings were that representatives of the tour and the Saudis discussed giving Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy their own LIV Golf teams, a proposal that apparently never reached either player. There was no indication during Tuesday’s hearing that Congress would block the tour from going into business with the Saudis.
The subcommittee chairman, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he was troubled by the geopolitical implications of Saudi investment in American sports and efforts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi leader, to whitewash the kingdom’s human rights abuses. However, Republicans on the committee were more sympathetic to the PGA Tour and the existential threat it faced from the PIF, which controls $600 billion in assets — roughly 500 times what the tour is worth.
“We’re here because we’re concerned about what it means for an authoritarian government to use its wealth to capture an American institution,” Blumenthal said.
The PGA Tour and the Saudis announced on June 6 that they agreed to drop all lawsuits against each other and combine their commercial interests into a new for-profit company while maintaining the tour’s nonprofit status. Asked by Blumenthal how much money the Saudis have committed to the new venture, Ron Price, the PGA Tour’s chief operating officer, testified the amount was “north of $1 billion.”
Blumenthal repeatedly pressed Price and Jimmy Dunne, a PGA Tour board member and a key negotiator of the Saudi deal, on why the tour did not seek alternative sources of funding to compete with the PIF. Price and Dunne said going into business with outside investors would not prevent LIV Golf and the PIF from continuing to compete with the tour and use its vast resources to sign top players.
“My entire concern here is to put this divisive period behind us, and for the sake of players, fans, sponsors and charities, unite the game of golf again,” said Dunne, a New York investment banker who is well connected with the sport’s leaders.
Critics of the Saudi investment in golf have pointed to the kingdom’s poor human rights record and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which U.S. intelligence concluded was likely approved by the crown prince, an allegation he denies. The PIF has bought its way into other sports including soccer — it owns Newcastle United of the English Premier League — and Formula One racing.
“There is something that stinks about this path that you’re on right now because it is a surrender, and it is all about the money, and that is the reason for the backlash that you’re seeing, Mr. Price,” Blumenthal said. “The equity ownership interest that the Saudis will have … gives them financial dominance. They control the purse strings.”
But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a harsh critic of the Saudi regime, said Congress should not interfere with a private enterprise doing business with the Saudis. He proposed instead that the U.S. reduce arms sales to Saudi Arabia. And the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., suggested that Saudi involvement in sports ultimately could improve human rights in the kingdom.
“If the kingdom’s involvement in golf and other sports helps it to modernize or offer rights to women, wouldn’t that be a good thing?” Johnson said.
Blumenthal pressed Dunne and Price to pledge that PGA Tour players would be free to criticize the Saudi regime if the deal is completed. Both said they would not recommend that the tour’s policy board approve any deal that includes such restrictions on speech.
Before the hearing, the subcommittee released documents detailing the secretive and hasty negotiations that led to last month’s framework agreement. Dunne conceded that the tour botched the announcement of the deal, leading many to mistakenly conclude that the tour and LIV Golf had completed a merger.
“The rollout was very misleading and inaccurate, which is everyone’s fault. There is no merger,” Dunne said. “There is merely an agreement to try and get to an agreement instead of a lawsuit.”
The documents released by the subcommittee detail the roles of people on the Saudi side of the negotiations, notably Amanda Staveley, a British investment banker who helped broker the Newcastle deal and now sits on the team’s board, and Roger Devlin, a British businessman.
Devlin was the first to approach Dunne about the prospect of a deal between the tour and LIV, the documents show, although Dunne said Tuesday he never met Devlin in person and reached out to Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the PIF, on his own. Dunne initially contacted Al-Rumayyan via WhatsApp, the documents show.
“My attitude was all of the people other than the guy with the money, we shouldn’t talk to,” Dunne said.
A memo from Staveley’s firm titled “The Best of Both Worlds” includes the proposal that Woods and McIlroy take ownership of LIV teams and that each of them play in 10 LIV events per year. There is no indication in the documents that either Woods or McIlroy, both of whom remained loyal to the PGA Tour, were ever informed of the idea.
Among the other proposals included in the memo are a mixed-gender, LIV-style team event with qualifying in Saudi Arabia and concluding in Dubai; awarding world ranking points to LIV events, including retroactively; and PIF sponsorship of two elevated PGA Tour events, including one in Saudi Arabia.
None of those proposals was included in the framework agreement signed by Al-Rumayyan and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. The PGA Tour sent a letter to players after Tuesday’s hearing saying the PIF made “a series of suggestions” that “were rejected immediately.”
The parties also negotiated but did not sign a side agreement that called for ousting Norman as LIV’s CEO. Asked by Blumenthal whether Norman was out of a job, Price said that if the tour and the PIF complete their business deal, the tour would control LIV and Norman’s job would be eliminated.
“We would no longer have a requirement for that type of position,” Price said.
Norman remains in the CEO role, although he has been largely sidelined as the public face of LIV since the deal was announced. He was invited to testify Tuesday along with Al-Rumayyan; both declined. Monahan also did not testify because he is recovering from an unspecified medical situation that kept him out of work for a month; he has said he plans to return next week.
COLUMN: HOW FAR GOLF HAS COME IN A YEAR, HOW FAR IT STILL HAS TO GO
GULLANE, Scotland (AP) — So much consternation about the fracture in the professional world of golf. So much speculation about where it will all lead.
That wasn’t just Tuesday at a Senate hearing on how the about-face agreement between the PGA Tour and the Saudis came together. That was last year during a British fortnight of golf, when what passed as scandal now seems rather small.
Consider the Scottish Open a year ago.
All the rage was Ian Poulter among three players who had defected to LIV Golf, won a preliminary injunction in a U.K. court and were allowed to play The Renaissance Club alongside European tour and PGA Tour players who felt he was double dipping.
Names were being whispered about who was next to join the rival league. A whisper became a question to Cameron Smith, whose Aussie chill vibe gave way to irritation when he was asked if he was joining LIV as he sat next to the silver claret jug he had just won.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, two years into this battle against the group with whom he now wants to partner, was described by more than one observer as looking like a U.S. president in his second term.
Greg Norman was mocked for his slogan of golf being a “force for good” and still being bullish on bringing free agency to golf, even though the LIV Golf schedule was more restrictive than anything the PGA Tour and European tour required.
What did it all mean? Where will it all lead?
At least the questions haven’t changed.
Across the ocean on Tuesday, eight players were on the range at The Renaissance Club while a half-dozen others went through their drills on the putting range. Others were on the course for a late afternoon practice round, none seemingly interested in the Senate subcommittee hearing.
None had a say in the first place as the last five weeks has shown.
Smith won the LIV Golf-London event last week and said about going to Hoylake for his title defense in the British Open, “It feels like forever.”
Consider all that has transpired in the last year.
Poulter and others under the U.K. sports resolution ruling kept playing European tour events from London to the Middle East for the next eight months until the final ruling went against them, a decision handed down the week of the Masters.
Eleven players filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, and four of them tried to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs until a California judge refused to grant a temporary restraining order.
LIV Golf joined the lawsuit, a countersuit was filed and the PGA Tour legal fees topped more than the $36 million Dustin Johnson won last year in LIV.
And what was described as a watershed moment in PGA Tour history now seems more like water under the bridge. Tiger Woods flew to Delaware to join Rory McIlroy and a small, elite group of players with the intent of reshaping the PGA Tour.
Monahan introduced a new model for the PGA Tour that created $20 million tournaments and a plan for the best to compete against each other upward of 17 times a year. That was described as a “bridge year,” though the concept for 2024 was the same with some wrinkles.
And to think the biggest argument was whether these $20 million tournaments with limited fields would have a cut (a topic that remains under discussion).
What to make of that Delaware meeting now? A blueprint for the future or a waste of time?
And where does golf go from here?
Still to come is whether the PGA Tour policy board approves whatever final deal gets hammered out by the end of the year, if that even happens. According to the framework agreement, the sides have to get the deal done by Dec. 31 unless they agree to extend it.
Documents obtained ahead of the Senate subcommittee hearing painted a bleak future for Norman if the deal goes through. He has been less visible in recent weeks as CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf.
An early draft of a side agreement suggested his job would be eliminated when the PGA Tour took over management of LIV. That side agreement was never drafted, though Ron Price, the chief operating officer of the PGA Tour, said at the hearing the tour “would no longer have a requirement” for Norman’s role if the deal is ever finalized.
Meanwhile, golf still provides a break from all this drama. Whether LIV Golf players win a major (they have won two of the last four) or even contend no longer seems to spark the interest it once did.
Robert MacIntyre of Scotland was asked about the LIV controversy a year ago with the Scottish Open and British Open in front of him. “I have a chance the next few weeks to do something special and I’m not worry about what’s going on,” he said.
A year later, not much had changed.
“I don’t really read about it and I don’t see the ins and outs of what can happen,” he said Tuesday. “But for now, it’s just let the guys at the top of the table deal with it and I’ll get told what I need to know when I need to know.”
DEANDRE HOPKINS AND DALVIN COOK LEAD A LIST OF REMAINING NFL FREE AGENTS AHEAD OF TRAINING CAMP
DeAndre Hopkins and Dalvin Cook lead a list of accomplished players who are still available a week before several NFL teams open training camp.
Hopkins, the three-time All-Pro wide receiver, became a free agent when Arizona released him in May. He visited the Tennessee Titans and has talked to the New England Patriots.
The 31-year-old Hopkins, a five-time Pro Bowl pick, could be waiting for a Super Bowl contender to make an offer. He’d fit in nicely with Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs if they could find a way to pay him.
Cook, a four-time Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook, was released by the Minnesota Vikings in June after six seasons. He has plenty of suitors, including his hometown Miami Dolphins. The New York Jets and Denver Broncos are among other teams with strong interest in the 27-year-old Cook.
Here are 10 more free agents who previously have had plenty of success in the NFL:
EZEKIEL ELLIOTT: The three-time Pro Bowl running back ran for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging a career-low 3.8 yards per carry for Dallas last season. Elliott still could return to the Cowboys, who got 1,007 yards rushing from Tony Pollard last season.
JADEVEON CLOWNEY: The former No. 1 overall pick is seeking his fifth team in six years. A three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, Clowney had two sacks last season in Cleveland after getting nine in 2021.
YANNICK NGAKOUE: The 28-year-old defensive end is an ideal fit for any team that needs a pass rush specialist. Ngakoue has had at least eight sacks in each of his seven seasons in the NFL. He had 9 1/2 last season for the Colts after tallying 10 in 2021 with Las Vegas.
MARCUS PETERS: Peters, a ball-hawking, two-time All-Pro cornerback, is coming off a subpar season in Baltimore, but he’s two years removed from an ACL injury and provides an experienced playmaker for a team that needs help in pass coverage.
JUSTIN HOUSTON: At 34, Houston may be past his prime, but he had 9 1/2 sacks last season for the Ravens. The four-time Pro Bowl edge could spark a defense as a rotational player.
CARSON WENTZ: His MVP-caliber 2017 season in Philadelphia is a distant memory, and he’s looking for his fourth team in four years. Wentz got booted out of Indianapolis after a 2021 season in which he threw 27 TD passes and had just seven interceptions. He struggled in an injury-shortened year with Washington in 2022 and has run out of opportunities as a starter.
JOHN JOHNSON: The veteran safety has started 80 games in his six-year career, missing only two games over the past three seasons. He had 101 tackles last season for Cleveland. The versatile Johnson has filled several roles in the defensive backfield and should find a new home, perhaps Green Bay, before the season starts.
LEONARD FOURNETTE: “Playoff Lenny” helped Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win the Super Bowl a few years ago, but he averaged just 3.5 yards per carry behind a mediocre offensive line last season. The bruising runner may have to wait for a team that loses a couple running backs to injuries.
KAREEM HUNT: He’s far removed from his 2017 rookie season in which he ran for 1,327 yards for the Chiefs, but Hunt is a versatile back who would provide depth. He may be a fit in Washington where he would reunite with former Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and play behind Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson.
DALTON RISNER: A left guard who started 62 games in four seasons in Denver, Risner shouldn’t be unemployed too far into camp. He’s a strong pass blocker and a potential fit for the Chargers or Vikings.
NFL PREVIEW: MIAMI DOLPHINS
Few teams enter the 2023 season with higher expectations than the Dolphins. Simultaneously, none have a bigger question.
Miami earned a wild-card berth last year and took the second-seeded Bills to the brink, despite having to start third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson. Now, with Tua Tagovailoa healthy once more, the concern is whether the Dolphins’ starter can avoid another concussion after being diagnosed with two (and likely having a third) last season.
If Tagovailoa’s health isn’t a problem, the Dolphins have legitimate Super Bowl dreams. They made a splash in March by trading for former All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey, bringing in the former Rams star to partner with Pro Bowler Xavien Howard on the perimeter. The defense also has a new coordinator in Vic Fangio, which is perhaps the most underrated addition of the offseason.
With Fangio, Miami should see a significant jump after finishing 18th in defense a year ago. And if Tagovailoa can stay upright, he has arguably the best receiver tandem in football with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle on the outside.
All told, the Dolphins are a threat to make a deep playoff run, even if they have to traverse the brutal AFC East to do it.
Biggest gamble this offseason: Not upgrading at backup quarterback
Last year, the Dolphins were without Tagovailoa for five games, including their playoff loss in Buffalo. While it’s tough to argue general manager Chris Grier should have re-signed the oft-injured Teddy Bridgewater, the position of backup quarterback in Miami seems underfunded.
With Bridgewater gone, the Dolphins signed former Jets backup Mike White to compete with Thompson. White has started seven games in his career (he has eight appearances) and thrown eight touchdowns against 12 interceptions. Not exactly the answer for a title contender if Tagovailoa has to miss time.
This winter, Grier could have earmarked money to try to land Andy Dalton, Taylor Heinicke or Gardner Minshew, all quarterbacks with far more experience and upside. In the cases of Dalton and Heinicke, both are former starters who have been in playoff games.
Instead, Miami is relying on the combination of Thompson and White. It’s risky and bordering on reckless.
Toughest stretch of the season: Weeks 1 to 4
The Dolphins will be tested right out of the gate in 2023. Miami opens with three road games in four weeks, including a Week 1 date against the Chargers at SoFi Stadium. The following week, it’s off to Foxborough for a Sunday night affair against Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
In Week 3, Miami hosts the remodeled Broncos before another divisional road game, this time in Orchard Park, N.Y., to square off with the Bills. It’s an opportunity for the Dolphins to get rolling in the tough AFC East, with all their home tilts remaining, but there’s also the risk of falling behind.
Breakout player to watch: LB Jaelan Phillips
The Dolphins sent a first-round pick to the Broncos last October for edge rusher Bradley Chubb before signing him to a $110 million extension. However, don’t forget about the man on the other side.
Phillips has 15.5 sacks through his first two seasons. At 6’5″ and 265 pounds, he has ideal size to anchor against the run while also being agile enough to get around the edge or bully the tackle with a power move.
As a rookie, Phillips played only 54% of defensive snaps before seeing that number increase to 73% in 2022. Don’t be surprised if it rises once more, and Phillips cracks the double-digit plateau.
Position of strength: Receiver
The Dolphins have a few position groups to pick from, but it’s impossible to overlook the wideouts.
Hill finished second to only Justin Jefferson last season in receiving yards and receptions while checking in at third with 170 targets. In seven years, Hill has made the Pro Bowl seven times while earning four first-team All-Pro berths.
As for Waddle, he totaled 1,356 yards in 2022, seventh in the league. Of players who ranked second in receiving on their teams, he was 160 yards better than anybody else. Entering his third campaign, Waddle has a chance to become an All-Pro.
Position of weakness: Offensive line
Miami’s front wall isn’t bad, but it has some weak points along with a major injury risk.
Left tackle Terron Armstead came over from New Orleans last offseason on a five-year deal, despite missing 48 games over nine seasons with the Saints. In 2022, Armstead missed four more contests while playing injured at times.
Beyond Armstead’s durability, there are questions at right tackle with Austin Jackson. A 2020 first-round pick, Jackson’s play has been relatively disappointing. He was limited to two games last year with an ankle injury.
Considering the fragility of Tagovailoa’s situation, having serious concerns about both tackles is quite worrisome.
X-factor: What does Ramsey have left?
This might seem like an odd question. Ramsey is 28 years old and is coming off his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl season. But there was chatter that Ramsey wasn’t the same for the Rams in 2022, a season that will go down as one of the worst title defenses.
Still, it seems Ramsey is an elite player on the boundary. In 2022, Pro Football Focus rated his as the league’s third-best corner. Now joining Fangio’s scheme, the cornerback should have a few more All-Pro–caliber seasons in him, giving Miami one of the best secondaries in football.
If that’s the case, giving up a third-round pick and tight end Hunter Long before giving Ramsey $30.5 million in new guarantees is a terrific gamble.
Sleeper/fantasy pick: RB Devon Achane
Mike McDaniel was thrilled to land Achane. While the Dolphins have a crowded backfield with Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, the rookie could etch out his own role, much like that of Darren Sproles during his salad days. I’d look to land Achane as a No. 4 fantasy back in reception-friendly leagues. —Michael Fabiano, SI Fantasy
Best bet: Take the under on Tagovailoa’s 3950.5 passing yards
Unfortunately, there are too many risk factors to take the over here, despite the capabilities of Tagovailoa and the Dolphins. Another concussion could easily derail the quarterback for the season, and Hill’s legal situation is still in question. Tagovailoa has yet to exceed this prop in a single NFL season.
BIG 10 FOOTBALL: PURDUE PREVIEW
2022 Record: 8-6 overall, 6-3 in Big Ten
Head Coach: Ryan Walters, 1st year: 0-0
There are sports roller coaster rides, and there’s what Purdue fans have been through since early December of 2022.
The Boilermakers made their first appearance in the Big Ten Championship. It was a blowout loss to Michigan in the title game, but so what? For the football program that suffered through eight losing seasons in nine years before 2021, it got there. It was a huge moment for the school.
Minnesota, Indiana, and Illinois have never played in the Big Ten Championship. Nebraska hasn’t been there since 2012. Penn State only got there once back in 2016, and relative newbies Maryland and Rutgers haven’t been close.
Jeff Brohm led the team to nine wins in 2021 and eight in 2022 for the best two-year run for Purdue football since the late great Joe Tiller came up with back-to-back nine-win seasons in 1997 and 1998. And then, just as the program seemed to have found its groove, Brohm is gone to … Louisville.
Yeah, that’s his alma mater, and yeah, it was hardly a shocker, but again, Purdue just played for the Big Ten Championship. And then Brohm left for an okay-not-powerhouse ACC program, Purdue lost to LSU 63-7 in the Citrus Bowl that wasn’t even as close as the final score might have indicated, and it got weirder.
The basketball team won the Big Ten title, had the makeup to make a huge run in the NCAA Tournament – especially as it played out – and then Fairleigh Dickinson entered the building for a first round matchup.
But there’s a plus side to all of this. Zach Edey is coming back for another year, and on the football side, Ryan Walters will be a shot of energy who could take all that Brohm cranked up to another level – eventually.
Walters is a defensive coach. He was a decent safety at Colorado, worked his way up the assistant ranks, and now at 37, he’s the head man who should bring a different look to the D side of the ball. He’s going to leave the other side to …
Purdue Boilermakers Preview: Offense
Graham Harrell was a terrific get as the new offensive coordinator. West Virginia didn’t do much with him as the OC last year, but he knows how to get a passing game going and the O that averaged 400 yards and 26.6 points per game should keep on going, but …
There should be a little more of a running game. It’s not exactly going to be ground-and-pound, but the rushing attack was a tad bit of an afterthought – the team won when it ran well, though; more on that in a moment. The combination of Devin Mockobee and Dylan Downing is good enough to carry more of the load – they combined for over 1,300 yards with 13 scores – and the line should help.
The Boilermaker front five was great at keeping defenses out of the backfield and wasn’t bad in pass protection. Gus Heartwig is a terrific center, Marcus Mbow is a tough guard, and theatre’s experience everywhere else helped by Bowling Green’s Jalen Grant and UNLV’s Preston Nichols to battle for time inside.
Texas transfer Hudson Card fits. The big quarterback signing from the transfer portal threw for 1,518 yards and 11 touchdowns over the last two seasons as a key reserve – he almost pulled off the game against Alabama. Arizona State transfer Bennett Meredith has a live, accurate arm, but it’ll be a shocker if this isn’t Card’s gig.
Who’s the next Purdue receiving superstar? Charlie Jones caught 110 passes last year. David Bell caught 232 over the previous three seasons before Jones went off. Rondale Moore made 114 grabs in 2018.
TJ Sheffield is the leading returning receiver catching 46 balls last year for 480 yards and four scores, and Mershawn Rice was fourth in yards with 283, but new to the fun is Corey Gammage from Marshall to likely be the new No. 1. So what about tight end with star Payne Durham now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer? Garrett Miller and Paul Piferi have been around for a while, but Durham was special.
Purdue Boilermakers Preview: Defense
Ryan Walters knows defense, and so does Kevin Kane, the former Illinois linebacker coach who came with the new head man. Last year’s Boilermaker defense was okay overall, but nothing special. There weren’t enough sacks and not enough tackles for loss, but it was good on third downs and held up against the mediocre.
There’s a ton of work to be done to fill in the gaps. The line is bringing in Malik Langham from Vanderbilt, Isaiah Nichols from Arkansas, and Jeffrey M’Ba from Auburn to work around new starting nose tackle Cole Brevard, Sort of like the great Illinois D from last year, the goal will be to create a steady rotation and hold up against the run first, and …
The back eight is in charge of taking the ball away. Illinois was a takeaway machine, and that will be the main early emphasis early on in the new system. Purdue was decent at forcing mistakes, and that’s where the linebackers come in. Kydran Jenkins and Khordae Sydnor are playmakers behind the line, and OC Brothers should be a stat-sheet filler in the middle.
Cam Allen is a veteran baller of a safety to be the quarterback of the secondary – he has 173 tackles with ten picks and 12 broken up passes in his four years. He’s great, Sanoussi Kane led the team with 72 stops, and the corners should be fine in time with Salim Turner-Muhammad (Stanford) and Marquis Wilson (Penn State) coming in through the portal.
Purdue Boilermakers Key To The Season
It’s okay to run the ball more. New year, new coaching staff, new team, but the Purdue passing game should still rock even with the changes. Now run it.
Including wins over Minnesota and Illinois on the road, Purdue was 6-0 when running for at least 115 yards and 7-1 when running for 95 yards or more. In 2021 the team was 4-0 when running for more than 91 yards and 6-1 when getting to at least 80 yards.
KIRBY SMART: BULLDOGS HAVEN’T CURED TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS ISSUE
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart admitted that he has yet to sufficiently address a widespread problem his problem has had with unsafe driving.
Eleven Georgia football players have been cited with some form of moving violation since Jan. 15, the night offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staff member Chandler LeCroy died in a car wreck allegedly caused by street racing.
“I’ll be the first to admit we haven’t solved that issue or problem,” Smart said at a press conference Tuesday. “I don’t honestly know that anybody has, but certainly for us, it’s important to acknowledge it first. We’ve had a lot of intervention in terms of talking and visiting, and discipline measures have been implemented in terms of education. We’ll continue to do that.”
The most recent player cited by police was freshman outside linebacker Samuel M’Pemba, who was caught driving 88 mpg in a 55 mph zone, sheriff’s records showed.
Wide receiver Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint pleaded guilty to driving 90 in a 45 mph zone this spring.
“It’s not necessarily just the volume of the speeding tickets, it’s the speed of the speeding tickets,” Smart said. “And that’s a bigger concern to me — the speed of the speeding tickets. Because high speeds, according to the Georgia State Patrol, which talked to our team, is where you get bigger accidents. That’s the biggest concern we have in regard to that.”
Smart said the staff has handed out internal discipline to players who’ve received speeding tickets, attempted to educate them about safe driving and urged them via text to drive safely over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
“I wish that we could prevent speeding issues and learn from a horrific and tragic event,” Smart said. “I’m still wrestling with that, and we talk about it as a staff and all the things we can do. We’ve got issues with traffic citations and speeding issues that we have to improve on. We have to get better at those, and I’m constantly looking and searching for that.”
The coach added that some players at the two-time defending national champion program have been able to buy new, faster cars with money earned through NIL deals.
The highest-profile case was the crash that took the lives of Willock and LeCroy and also involved first-round draft pick Jalen Carter. Police have alleged that LeCroy’s SUV was racing Carter’s vehicle and that she was traveling more than 100 mph when it slammed into power poles and trees.
LeCroy had a blood alcohol concentration of .197 percent, police said.
Carter, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, left the NFL scouting combine to turn himself in to police in March and pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing.
NORTHWESTERN FACULTY CALL FOR RELEASE OF INVESTIGATION FINDINGS
Northwestern faculty formally requested the university make public the findings of the hazing investigation that led to the dismissal of head coach Pat Fitzgerald.
In a letter to the university president and other school officials, a group of six faculty at the private university and residents of Evanston, Ill., called for the delay of a planned $800 million renovation to Ryan Field, the Wildcats’ football stadium.
Fitzgerald, head coach at Northwestern since 2006, was fired on Monday with $42 million remaining on his contract. That decision came three days after the original discipline for Fitzgerald was a two-week suspension without pay, all stemming from an independent investigation that found hazing allegations were “largely supported by evidence.”
A player came forward to the student newspaper, the Daily Northwestern, and revealed that the investigation was not just into allegations of hazing, but alleged coerced sexual acts.
Fitzgerald was also accused of presiding over a “culture of enabling racism.”
There have also been calls for support for Fitzgerald from some former players and alumni.
University president Michael Schill wrote a letter to the Northwestern community Saturday night admitting that the school “may have erred” in the severity of its discipline. Schill then confirmed reports of Fitzgerald’s firing with another letter Monday evening.
“This afternoon, I informed Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald that he was being relieved of his duties effective immediately,” Schill wrote Monday. “The decision comes after a difficult and complex evaluation of my original discipline decision imposed last week on Coach Fitzgerald for his failure to know and prevent significant hazing in the football program.”
Schill said he spent “a great deal of time” discussing the matter with the board of trustees, faculty, students, alumni “and Coach Fitzgerald himself.”
Northwestern athletic director Derrick Gragg, a former NCAA executive and AD at Tulsa and Eastern Michigan University, was in contact with Schill but remained on a scheduled vacation.
Gragg took over in June 2021 after the resignation of Mike Polisky, previously deputy AD at Northwestern, just days into the job. Polisky stepped down in May 2021 after being named in a sexual harassment lawsuit by former Wildcats cheerleaders.
NORTHWESTERN TO KEEP ASSISTANT COACHES FOR 2023
After firing head coach Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern will retain the rest of its football coaching staff, the school told multiple media outlets Tuesday.
Northwestern did not name an interim head coach Monday when announcing Fitzgerald would not return. Defensive coordinator David Braun, however, is filling in as a “liaison” and could be elevated to interim coach, reports said.
Braun was hired in January after working as the defensive coordinator at FCS powerhouse North Dakota State from 2019-22.
Athletic director Derrick Gragg returned to campus Tuesday to address the football team in person. Gragg had been out of the country on vacation and held a Zoom call Monday night to reveal the Fitzgerald decision without taking questions from players.
University president Michael Schill did not attend that meeting, leading some players to tell ESPN and Rivals that they felt the administration’s handling of the matter was “cowardly” and disrespectful.
Fitzgerald, head coach at Northwestern since 2006, was fired on Monday with $42 million remaining on his contract. That decision came three days after the original discipline for Fitzgerald was a two-week suspension without pay, all stemming from an independent investigation that found hazing allegations were “largely supported by evidence.”
A player came forward to the student newspaper, the Daily Northwestern, and revealed that the hazing allegedly included coerced sexual acts. Fitzgerald was also accused of presiding over a “culture of enabling racism.”
NOVAK DJOKOVIC TIES ROGER FEDERER WITH 46 SLAM SEMIFINALS AND MEETS JANNIK SINNER NEXT AT WIMBLEDON
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — As Novak Djokovic pursues more history-making victories and more milestones, he is well aware that every opponent he faces would love nothing more than to stop him.
“I know they want … to win. But it ain’t happening, still,” he told the crowd at Wimbledon on Tuesday after reaching a 46th Grand Slam semifinal to tie Roger Federer’s record for men.
Hearing the spectators’ loud reaction to that boast, Djokovic laughed and observed about himself: “Very humble.”
His 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Andrey Rublev was the 33rd in a row at the All England Club for Djokovic, moving him closer to a fifth consecutive championship and eighth overall there — which would pull him even with Federer on both counts.
“I feel,” Rublev said about Djokovic, “like he’s playing better and better.”
Djokovic, a 36-year-old from Serbia, is also pursuing a 24th career major trophy. He already set the men’s mark in that category by collecting No. 23 at the French Open last month, pulling ahead of Rafael Nadal. Federer is next on the list with 20.
The only real blip for Djokovic came when the No. 7-seeded Rublev broke him with a forehand winner to lead 5-4 at the outset, then served out the opening set.
From there, Djokovic saved all seven break points he faced and pulled away, dropping Rublev to 0-8 in Grand Slam quarterfinals.
“Every time when he had a chance, this little chance,” Rublev said, “he (made) them. All of them.”
Well, not quite. Djokovic failed to convert any of his three break points in the opening set. After that? He went 5 for 9.
Next up for Djokovic is a matchup against No. 8 seed Jannik Sinner, who made it to the semifinals at a major tournament for the first time by beating Roman Safiullin 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 earlier Tuesday.
Djokovic has won both previous head-to-head meetings against Sinner, a 21-year-old from Italy. That includes in last year’s Wimbledon quarterfinals, when Djokovic dropped the first two sets before coming through in five.
“It’s for sure one of the toughest — if not the toughest — challenge,” Sinner said about playing Djokovic.
The other two men’s quarterfinals are Wednesday: No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz vs. No. 6 Holger Rune, and No. 3 Daniil Medvedev vs. unseeded Chris Eubanks.
On Friday, Sinner will be the latest to attempt to stop Djokovic, who is two wins away from heading to the U.S. Open in August with his sights on the first calendar-year Grand Slam for a man since Rod Laver accomplished the feat in 1969.
“Any tennis player wants to be in a position where everyone wants to win against you on the court. … Pressure is part of what we do. It’s part of our sport. It’s never going to go away, regardless of how many Grand Slams you win or how many matches you won or how many years you are playing professionally on the tour,” Djokovic said. “The pressure is paramount every single time I come out on the court, particularly here, the Centre Court of Wimbledon. But at the same time, it awakens the most beautiful emotions in me and it motivates me beyond what I have ever dreamed of, actually, and inspires me to play my best tennis.”
ELINA SVITOLINA HAS THE UKRAINE WAR AND HER BABY IN MIND AS SHE BEATS IGA SWIATEK AT WIMBLEDON
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) – The last time Elina Svitolina was Grand Slam semifinalist – twice, actually, in 2019 – she was pursuing the usual trappings of success in professional sports: trophies, money, fame, etc.
Now Svitolina plays for more important reasons. For her daughter, Skaï, who was born in October. For her country, Ukraine, where a war that began with Russia’s invasion in February 2022 continues to this day.
And Svitolina firmly believes that those quite different factors actually do affect the way she swings a racket and the way she handles important moments on a tennis court. Enough so that she is one of the last four women remaining at Wimbledon after adding to her series of surprising victories over major champions with a 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2 victory against No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek on Tuesday.
“War made me stronger and also made me mentally stronger. Mentally, I don’t take difficult situations as, like, a disaster, you know? There are worse things in life. I’m just more calmer,” said Svitolina, 28, who once was ranked as high No. 3 and now is No. 76 after taking time off to start a family with her husband, tennis player Gael Monfils.
She only returned to the tour three months ago.
“Also, because I just started to play again, I have different pressures,” Svitolina said after kneeling down, then covering her face with her hands, when Swiatek missed one last forehand at Centre Court. “Of course, I want to win. I have this motivation, like huge motivation, to come back to the top. But I think having a child – and war – made me a different person. I look at the things a bit differently.”
She received a wild-card entry from the All England Club to get into the field and now will face another unseeded player, 42nd-ranked Marketa Vondrousova, for a berth in Saturday’s final.
Vondrousova, the 2019 French Open runner-up, beat fourth-seeded Jessica Pegula 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 by grabbing the last five games after being a point from trailing 5-1 in the last set at No. 1 Court. Pegula dropped to 0-6 in major quarterfinals.
“I don’t know what happened,” the left-handed Vondrousova said.
Both women’s matches Tuesday were interrupted when rain arrived and the courts’ roofs were shut so play could continue. Swiatek used the break to animatedly chat with her sports psychologist, who was up in the stands, then headed toward an off-court lounge to huddle with her coach.
None of that helped her figure out what was wrong with her spin-heavy forehand, which accounted for 57 total errors – 28 unforced, 29 forced – and 22 winners.
Swiatek, who was coming off claiming her fourth Grand Slam title at the French Open last month, felt the change in the way Svitolina smacked balls over the Centre Court net. That included a stretch where Svitolina won 20 of 22 points during a stretch that spanned the end of the first set and start of the second.
“She played with more freedom and more guts. Sometimes, she really just let go of her hand,” Swiatek said, pantomiming a forehand, “and she played really, really fast.”
In the men’s matches Tuesday, No. 8 Jannik Sinner made it to his first major semifinal by eliminating Roman Safiullin 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
“It means a lot me,” Sinner said. “We put a lot of work in – many, many hours off court, a lot of sacrifice – for this moment.”
His next opponent will be either 23-time Slam champion Novak Djokovic or No. 7 Andrey Rublev, who were playing at night.
Svitolina certainly did not expect to still be around this deep into the fortnight. She originally wasn’t even planning to get back in action after giving birth until around now. But she and Monfils started working out together on Jan. 2, and Svitolina’s progress was substantial enough that she altered her timeline.
She added the win against Swiatek to those against seven-time major champion Venus Williams in the first round, 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin in the third, and two-time Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka in the fourth.
There is definitely a sense of urgency with all of this.
“It’s less years that I have in front than behind me. I have to go for it. I don’t have time to lose anymore. I don’t know how many years I will be playing,” Svitolina said. “You practice for these moments, for these big moments.”
And for the kinds of moments that come after she leaves the court.
On Tuesday, Svitolina FaceTimed with Skaï, who is at home in Monte Carlo with Monfils and the new grandparents.
“She was really distracted with her ice cream, so I was not the priority there,” Svitolina said. “She is still at this age when she doesn’t care if I win, if I lose.”
There are, naturally, those who do care. A lot.
Svitolina’s phone has been inundated by messages of support from her her native country, and she’s seen videos of kids there following her matches.
“This really makes my heart melt, seeing this,” she said. “Just happy I could bring a little happiness to the people of Ukraine.”
FLOPPING, CHALLENGE RULES CHANGED BY NBA’S BOARD OF GOVERNORS
LAS VEGAS (AP) Upon review, coaches will have more chances to ask for reviews.
The NBA’s Board of Governors approved two rule changes for the coming season Tuesday – one to give coaches a second challenge if their first one is successful, the other being a technical foul for flopping.
The challenge rule change is something that coaches have wanted for some time. Coaches who challenge a call and are successful will get the chance to make a second challenge – with one catch. Teams must have a timeout in order to call for a challenge; that timeout would not be retained even if a coach won that first challenge.
Players who flop – or are called for committing “a physical act that reasonably appears to be intended to cause the officials to call a foul on another player,” the league said – will be given a non-unsportsmanlike technical, which will not count as a personal foul or lead to ejection. But it will give the opposing team a free throw and could lead to a possession change, depending on when it is called.
Officials can choose to stop live play to call a flopping violation, or can wait until the next “neutral opportunity” to do so.
Floppers will be fined $2,000, with fines rising incrementally for repeat offenders. The flopping rule will be on a one-year experiment.
Both rule changes first got unanimous recommendation from the NBA’s Competition Committee, composed of players, representatives from the National Basketball Players Association, coaches, governors, team basketball executives and referees.
FORMER NBA GUARD BEN GORDON PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN DISTURBANCE AT CONNECTICUT JUICE SHOP
Former NBA guard Ben Gordon pleaded not guilty Tuesday to weapons and threatening charges in connection with a disturbance at a Connecticut juice shop in which police responding to reports of his erratic behavior forced him to the ground and handcuffed him.
Gordon, who also starred at the University of Connecticut when the Huskies won the 2004 NCAA championship, appeared in court in Stamford with his lawyer, Darnell Crosland, who entered the pleas.
After court, Crosland said in an interview that Gordon has struggled with his mental health and with what to do with his life after he retired from the NBA following the 2014-2015 season and an 11-year pro career.
“That passion he had while playing he still has, but it’s hard to navigate shark-infested waters post-league,” Crosland said, not elaborating on what he meant. “But he is doing his best and is now focusing on his family.”
Gordon may seek a diversionary program to settle the criminal charges, Crosland said. Gordon is due to return to court next month.
Gordon, who was born in England and grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, was arrested in April — on his 40th birthday and just hours after UConn won its fifth NCAA men’s basketball championship — at the Juice Kings shop in Stamford.
Police said several 911 callers reported that Gordon was acting aggressively and bizarrely. Gordon continued to act erratically when officers arrived, and they forced him to the ground and handcuffed him outside the store, authorities said.
Police said Gordon had a folding knife clipped to his pocket, as well as a stun gun and brass knuckles in his backpack.
Gordon has had other brushes with the law over the years. In October, he was charged with punching his son at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. In November, he was charged with a misdemeanor in Chicago on allegations he punched a McDonald’s security guard.
Gordon has pleaded guilty in the New York and Chicago cases, with the plea deals calling for no jail time, according to news reports.
Gordon has talked and written about his bipolar disorder and depression, which he said have played roles in his arrests.
During his NBA career, Gordon played for Chicago, where he won the league’s Sixth Man Award as a rookie for the 2004-2005 season. He also played for Detroit, Charlotte and Orlando.
ARREST WARRANT ISSUED FOR FRIEND OF NBA STAR JA MORANT OVER FIGHT AT PLAYER’S HOME IN 2022
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — An arrest warrant has been issued for a close friend of Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant stemming from a fight during a pickup basketball game at the player’s home last year, authorities said.
Davonte Pack, whom Morant has referred to as “my brother,” has been charged with simple assault stemming from the July 2022 altercation in which a teenager says in a lawsuit that the All-Star guard and Pack punched him, the Shelby County district attorney’s office said in a statement.
Online records show the warrant for Pack, 24, was issued Monday, the same day Morant’s lawyers argued in civil court that the teen’s lawsuit against Morant should be dismissed because he acted in self-defense after the teen threw a basketball at Morant and it hit Morant in the chin.
Morant’s accuser was 17 when the lawsuit was filed. It accuses Morant and Pack of assault, reckless endangerment, abuse or neglect, and infliction of emotional distress. An amended complaint identified the plaintiff as Joshua Holloway, who is now 18.
Morant filed a countersuit accusing Holloway of slander, battery and assault.
No criminal charges have been filed against Morant. Lawyers defending Morant and Pack in the lawsuit didn’t immediately respond to calls and emails seeking comment on the warrant.
The NBA suspended Morant for 25 games when the upcoming season starts after a second video of him flashing a handgun was posted online. The video of Morant showing a gun while sitting in the passenger seat of a car was posted after he finished serving an eight-game suspension in March for a video in which he flashed a handgun in a Denver-area strip club.
Morant apologized for both incidents.
Morant’s actions also were investigated after a Jan. 29 incident in Memphis that he said led to Pack being banned from home games for a year.
That incident followed a game against the Indiana Pacers. The Indianapolis Star and USA Today, citing unnamed sources, reported that multiple members of the Pacers saw a red dot pointed at them, and The Athletic reported that a Pacers security guard believed the laser was attached to a gun.
The NBA confirmed that unnamed individuals were banned from the arena but said its investigation found no evidence that anyone was threatened with a weapon.
Morant responded to that incident by tweeting that the reports “paint this negative image on me and my fam. & banned my brother from home games for a year. unbelievable.” During the Jan. 29 game, there was barking between Pacers players and friends of Morant seated along the sideline. Pack was escorted from the arena as Pacers bench players shouted in Pack’s direction.
CELTICS ‘MAKING PROGRESS’ ON CONTRACT EXTENSION WITH JAYLEN BROWN
Jaylen Brown has repeatedly been at the center of trade rumors over the past few years, but it does not sound like the Boston Celtics are planning to part ways with the two-time All-Star.
Jared Weiss of The Athletic reported on Monday that the Celtics are “making progress” toward a contract extension with Brown. The two sides are “likely moving closer to an agreement over the coming week.”
That meshes with what the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reported, which is that there is “hope and optimism a deal will be finalized soon.” Though, Himmelsbach says there is still work to be done.
Brown is eligible for a five-year, $295M supermax extension after he was named to the All-NBA Second Team. One reason that negotiations are taking a while could be that the Celtics are trying to get Brown to agree to something between the supermax figure and the four-year, $190M regular max extension. Though, Brown has indicated he wants the full amount.
Brown, who averaged 26.6 points per game last season, has expressed frustration in the past with having his name come up in trade rumors. Some of that frustration has been directed at Celtics fans.
Many have predicted that he would either be traded or leave when he became a free agent after the 2023-24 season, but all signs point toward Brown remaining in Boston.
WHILE CELTICS HAVE SHOWN INTEREST IN LILLARD, THE FEELING IS NOT MUTUAL
Shams Charania name dropped the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers as two teams that have expressed interest in making a trade with the Portland Trailblazers for Damian Lillard. According to Shams, Lillard is holding strong to his stand that he will only accept a trade to Miami or else he will just sit out the year.
Well Lillard has multiple years left on his contract, but he and his agent (and the Miami Heat) are working hard to force Portland’s hand. Here’s the thing, if Lillard wanted out that would be fine. If he would only play for say 5 teams that would also be fine, but he insists on playing for only 1 team. And not only that, but they are required by Dame to retain Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, so that 1 team he will play for doesn’t have enough to trade for him.
It’s like if Lillard was asked to pick one of playing for a championship, playing with his friend Adebayo, or playing in Miami, and he responded. “Yes.”
ACES JUMP ON MERCURY IN SECOND QUARTER, WIN GOING AWAY
Jackie Young led three Las Vegas scorers who scored at least 20 points apiece and the Aces shot better than 50 percent from the floor for much of the night en route to blowing out the visiting Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday night.
Young finished with 23 points and six assists for Las Vegas (18-2), which took control in the second quarter, outscoring Phoenix 26-12 to take an 18-point lead into intermission of the Commissioner’s Cup matchup.
The Aces opened the second half with another run of 18-6 over the first 4:58 of the third quarter to lead by 30.
Chelsea Gray collected 21 points, 11 assists and six rebounds, and A’ja Wilson added 20 points and eight boards for Las Vegas. Young, Gray and Wilson combined to shoot 25-of-39 from the floor.
Coming off her franchise-record 40-point performance in Sunday’s win at Minnesota, Kelsey Plum chipped in 17 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Every Las Vegas player who saw the floor scored. Kiah Stokes rounded out the starters with seven points, and Cayla George — who scored three points off the bench — grabbed five rebounds in 16 minutes.
Phoenix (4-15) shot only 27-of-70 from the floor overall and 6-of-19 from 3-point range, compared to the Aces’ 9-of-25 from beyond the arc.
Michaela Onyenwere led the Mercury with 18 points off the bench on 7-of-13 shooting, while Brittney Griner added 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Phoenix’s next three leading scorers — Diana Taurasi (11 points), Shey Peddy (10) and Moriah Jefferson (nine) — shot a combined 10-of-29.
Brianna Turner, who grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, scored two points on 1-of-4 shooting.
The Mercury have lost four of their last five games and 10 of 12.
BRITTNEY SYKES HELPS MYSTICS HOLD ON VS. STORM
Brittney Sykes poured in 26 points on 12-of-18 shooting to lead the Washington Mystics to a 93-86 victory over the visiting Seattle Storm on Tuesday night.
Reserve Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting as Washington (11-8) completed a three-game season sweep of Seattle. Tianna Hawkins added 13 points for the Mystics, who had lost four of their previous six games.
Jewell Loyd matched the WNBA single-game record with nine 3-pointers while scoring 39 points for Seattle (4-15). Kelsey Mitchell of the Indiana Fever also made nine in a game in 2019.
Loyd was 9 of 16 from 3-point range and 11 of 22 overall while scoring 30 or more points for the sixth time this season. Her record-tying 3-pointer came with 28.2 seconds left in the game.
Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds and Ezi Magbegor added 12 points and nine boards for the Storm, who have lost six straight games and eight of nine.
Washington shot 53.7 percent from the field, including 9 of 24 from 3-point range. The Mystics played without two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne (ankle).
Seattle shot 44.8 percent from the field and 12 of 30 from behind the arc.
Loyd scored 18 points on six treys in the final quarter as Seattle recovered from a 25-point deficit late in the third quarter to trail by just six with 3:47 left.
Loyd connected on three 3-pointers in a span of 3:12 as the Storm moved within 84-73 with 4:37 left. Then 50 seconds later, Loyd drained another one as Seattle pulled within 84-78.
But Sykes hit a jumper with 2:45 left and added a three-point play 27 seconds later as Washington led 90-81 with 2:18 remaining en route to closing it out.
Washington held an eight-point halftime advantage and grew the lead to 25 during the third quarter.
Hawkins hit a 3-pointer to start the period and Sykes added a basket to make it 52-39.
Natasha Cloud drilled a trey to end the frenzy and make it 74-49 with 1:48 left in the quarter.
Seattle scored the final five points to trail by 20 entering the fourth.
Walker-Kimbrough had 10 first-half points as the Mystics led 47-39 at the break. Loyd and Fankam Mendjiadeu had 10 apiece for the Storm.
AUTO RACING NEWS
BYRON BACK ON TOP AFTER 4TH CUP SERIES WIN; VERSTAPPEN KEEPS ROLLING, PALOU HOPES TO
All Times Eastern
NASCAR CUP SERIES
Site: Loudon, New Hampshire.
Schedule: Saturday, practice, 12:05 p.m., and qualifying, 12:50 p.m.; Sunday, race, 2:30 p.m. (USA).
Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Race distance: 301 laps, 318.46 miles.
Last year: Christopher Bell won after starting fifth.
Last race: William Byron overcame a spin early in the second stage that put him a lap down and was in the right position when the race at Atlanta was shortened by rain after he took the lead for his series-best fourth victory of the year.
Fast facts: Byron took over the series points lead by 21 over Martin Truex Jr., 36 over Kyle Busch and 37 over Bell. … The race was stopped with 75 laps to go because of rain and the threat of lightning. Fans were encouraged to leave the stands shortly thereafter with severe weather moving in and NASCAR called it official shortly thereafter. … Daniel Suarez was second. followed by AJ Allmendinger, Michael McDowell and Busch. … Richard Childress was the grand marshal in a No. 29 car. Kevin Harvick drove the No. 29 to victory at Atlanta for his first victory in 2001 and drove his final race at the track and had a late spin. He finished 30th.
Next race: July 23, Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
Ambetter Health 200
Site: Loudon, New Hampshire.
Schedule: Friday, practice, 5:05 p.m., and qualifying, 5:35 p.m.; Saturday, race, 3 p.m. (USA).
Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Race distance: 150 laps, 318.46 miles.
Last year: Justin Allgaier won after starting third.
Last race: Points leader John Hunter Nemechek passed Justin Haley at the start of overtime and held off Daniel Hemric to win at Atlanta, his third victory of the season.
Fast facts: Nemechek leads Austin Hill, the only other three-time winner this year, by 16 points and Cole Custer by 45. Fourth-place Allgaier, who is 54 points back, is the only other driver within 150 points of the lead. … Custer was third, followed by Haley. … Nemechek, Hill and Allgaier share the lead with nine top-five finishes, and Nemechek leads with 14 top-10s in 17 races. … The top five in the standings have combined to win 10 races. Four others were won by non-championship contenders.
Next race: July 22, Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
NASCAR TRUCK SERIES
Last race: Points leader Corey Heim passed Ty Majeski with 26 laps to go and never relinquished the top spot at Mid-Ohio, winning for the second time this season and for the first time on a road course. Heim, with one fewer start than the rest of the contenders, leads defending series champion Zane Smith by 26 points and Majeski by 51 through 14 of 23 races.
Next race: July 22, Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
Last race: Max Verstappen recovered from a slow start on the pole to win the British Grand Prix, another dominant performance that was upstaged by a stirring duel in which Lando Norris held off fellow Brit Lewis Hamilton for second place.
Next race: July 23, Budapest, Hungary.
Honda Indy Toronto
Site: Toronto, Canada.
Schedule: Friday, practice, 3 p.m.; Saturday, practice, 10:35 a.m., and qualifying, 2:50 p.m.; Sunday, race, 1:30 p.m. (peacock).
Track: Exhibition Place street circuit.
Race distance: 85 laps, 151.81 miles.
Last year: Scott Dixon won after starting second.
Last race: Alex Palou continued his dominance at Mid-Ohio with his third straight series win. He easily beat Dixon, his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, for his fourth win in the last five races and extended his lead over Dixon to 110 points.
Fast facts: With a maximum of 54 points offered per race and five points awarded to those who finish last in a 27-car field, the most an opponent can gain in a single race is 49 points, which means Palou’s lead is more than two races with eight remaining. … Dan Wheldon also won three races in a row and four of five in 2005, but his lead was 73 points after that flurry. He also won his lone championship that year. … Third-place Josef Newgarden (116 points behind) is the only other multiple race winner with two victories through the first nine events.
Next race: Doubleheader weekend July 22-23 at Newton, Iowa.
NHRA DRAG RACING
Last event: Leah Pruett won in Top Fuel and Blake Alexander won in Funny Car in Norwalk, Ohio.
Next event: July 16, Morrison, Colorado.
WORLD OF OUTLAWS
Next events: July 14 & 15, Rossburg, Ohio.
NASCAR RACING IN NEW ENGLAND CENTERS ON NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Motor Speedway is fittingly both an important part of NASCAR history and a unique treasure in modern day sports venues.
Its idiosyncrasies are exactly what make “The Magic Mile” a must-stop on the NASCAR calendar, popular among competitors and fans alike. Plus, like many of the tracks on the schedule, it has played a significant role in the sport.
The NASCAR Cup Series makes its only stop of the season at New Hampshire this weekend for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series’ Crayon 301 (2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
On Saturday, the Xfinity Series runs the Ambetter Health 200 (3 p.m. ET on USA Network, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
It’s quite the journey from the track’s origins; a 1.6-mile road course opened in 1964 called Bryar Motorsports Park to the current 1.058-mile oval featuring progressive banking.
But when New England’s own Bob Bahre purchased the facility and converted the track into the oval, big-time racing had a home and an immediate supportive audience. And in 1990, Bahre’s track hosted its first NASCAR race — a Xfinity Series event won by driver Tommy Ellis.
NASCAR had found a home and New Hampshire Motor Speedway was — and still is — considered THE NASCAR track for the Northeastern fan base. Some of racing’s most passionate supporters are found there, as the stock car circuit is reminded upon each summer visit there.
“I remember watching it sort of sprout from the ground and take shape,” said former NASCAR star Ricky Craven, a native of Maine. “The speedway was exciting in terms of fans and became New England’s largest sport’s facility, but for the drivers, it was also incredible and for me personally, it was monumental in terms of timing because I was creating some inertia in my career and needed people to be able to see me, so I was just so enthusiastic about it.
“I won the Chevy Dealer’s 250 in ‘91 and it propelled my career — a battle with Harry Gant and Chuck Bown in the closing laps and got me a lot of attention,” he added. “It was a televised race and there were no races in New England televised nationally.
“And it had that same effect on so many people, really. If you think about all the talent that has come from New England since the track was built — and I’m talking Tommy Baldwin, Steve Park, hundreds, if not thousands of crew members that eventually made it to the big time. The timing of that speedway was so valuable to us young competitors in particular.
“We had a platform to perform on. All of a sudden we had a home court.”
And as it quicky proved, valuable to the sport in general.
After a successful three-year run with the Xfinity Series from 1990-92, New Hampshire Motor Speedway earned a Cup Series race becoming a must-see venue for both New Englanders and nearby Canadians. Both country’s national anthems are proud features in pre-race festivities.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace won the first NASCAR Cup Series race there in 1993. It was an event that was also sadly significant as the last race series superstar Davey Allison competed in before perishing in a helicopter accident one week later.
The track has contributed several significant chapters to the sport.
In 1996 — Bahre’s last year as sole proprietor of the facility — Ernie Irvan won the annual summer race at New Hampshire; an emotional outing to claim his first trophy since being critically injured in an accident at Michigan International Speedway nearly two years earlier.
As was the case during a time of multiple speedway openings — the NASCAR Cup Series experienced a certain shuffle of venues and dates.
In late 1996, the Bruton Smith-led Speedway Motorsports became ownership partners with Bahre at New Hampshire and secured a highly coveted second race date for the facility. From 2004-11, that second New Hampshire race held a prestigious place on the schedule — serving as the opening event for the 10-race NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Although it’s order in the 10-race playoff schedule changed, it still hosted a playoff race until 2017.
During those years, New Hampshire was noted for a couple of major racing milestones.
In 2000, Jeff Burton — now an analyst for NBC Sports — led every lap in a race with no lead changes to hoist one of a record four New Hampshire winner’s lobsters. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick, who is retiring at the end of this season, is tied with Burton atop the victory chart with four wins himself.
Also, of significance for the sport, a major rule change — the “Lucky Dog” — was adapted in response to a New Hampshire race in 2003 after an incident involving NASCAR Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett.
Jarrett’s car stalled out on the front stretch and sat in a precarious position with the field racing back to the finish line and cars trying to earn a lap back. Although thankfully there was not an accident, NASCAR saw the possibilities that existed in allowing the field to race back to the line.
And by the very next race, NASCAR implemented the “Free Pass” procedure still used today. It allows the first car not on the lead lap to automatically get a lap back without having to race to the line.
Interestingly, only eight current NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at New Hampshire. Harvick will try to claim the all-time win record this weekend with a fifth trophy. He’s won three of the last eight races at the track.
Three other series champions are multi-winners at New Hampshire.
Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch and Rick Ware Racing’s Ryan Newman each have three wins. Team Penske’s Joey Logano and RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski have a pair of victories. Logano’s trophy hoist in 2009 was the first of his career.
A pair of drivers earned their first New Hampshire race wins in the last two visits to the track — Aric Almirola (2021) and Christopher Bell (2022).
As the Cup Series arrives in the Northeast this weekend, it will undoubtedly be greeted by warm welcomes; by a region appreciative of the chance to host and proven to be an important part of the sport.
“There’s no question that it is a pillar,” Craven said of New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
JOHN CALIPARI FINALLY FILLS KENTUCKY ROSTER AFTER WORKING LONGER FOR RECRUITS AND TRANSFERS
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The angst among Kentucky’s fervent fan base was palpable as the Wildcats listed just seven scholarship players and coach John Calipari worked to fill out a roster that lost 2022 consensus national player of the year Oscar Tshiebwe among eight departures.
A month’s work on the recruiting trail and the transfer portal has yielded a full squad, albeit later than expected. The Hall of Fame coach will have one of his youngest teams in recent memory as a result, but manpower isn’t a concern – even with 7-foot centerpiece Aaron Bradshaw sidelined for now.
As has been the case throughout Calipari’s 15-season tenure, Kentucky’s challenge will be enduring the growing pains of blending another top-ranked recruiting class with holdovers. That process starts this week, in fact.
“We’ve got a lot of playmakers on the team that look for each other,” said fifth-year guard Antonio Reeves, Kentucky’s top scorer among the seven returnees at 14.4 points per game. “I think that’s the one key difference from last year.”
Though roster turnover is an annual ritual for Calipari, this year’s makeover stands out for the number of arrivals and departures and accompanying hype.
Two-time All-American Tshiebwe (16.5 points, 13.7 rebounds) is now with the Indiana Pacers, one of four starters who left this spring, though guard Cason Wallace and forward Chris Livingston were the ones taken in last month’s NBA draft. Four others transferred from last year’s 22-12 squad including floor general Sahvir Wheeler, who’s now at Washington.
Calipari already had the nation’s top freshman class on board, with Bradshaw (12.1 points, 9.4 rebounds) projected to provide the inside presence that was lacking even with Tshiebwe excelling on both ends of the floor. He is out after undergoing foot surgery last month, an absence that initially could place more responsibility on heralded freshman such as 6-foot-8 Justin Edwards, Rob Dillingham (6-2) and fellow guard D.J. Wagner (6-3), the grandson of former Louisville great Milt Wagner. Kentucky also added 6-9 Jordan Burks and 6-5 Joey Hart more recently.
“It’s unfortunate for him, but we’ve had guys that couldn’t be there in the summer and came back and played great,” Calipari recently said of Bradshaw without offering a timetable for his return.
Uncertainty over whether Reeves would return to school created additional concern about experience and leadership. Reeves’ return quelled that anxiety and Calipari landed a key pickup from the portal in 6-9 former West Virginia forward Tre Mitchell, a graduate who transferred from Morgantown after coach Bob Huggins’ resignation following a drunken-driving arrest last month.
Huggins now insists he didn’t resign, but Mitchell is in Lexington and eager to begin playing for the coach who recruited him in high school and through several stops in the portal.
“Coach Cal obviously has a track record that speaks for itself,” said Mitchell, who averaged 11.7 points and 5.5 rebounds last season for the Mountaineers. “When I entered the portal and he reached out, it’s an opportunity that it’s kind of hard to pass up.”
At the very least, Reeves and Mitchell provide needed veteran guidance as the underclassmen adjust to college basketball. They’ll have some help from 6-11 sophomore Ugonna Onyenso and 6-6 guard Adou Thiero, who has added noticeable muscle.
The mix of young and old(er) is what Calipari desires, and he’s not surprised that assembly took longer.
“We were always in a strong position,” the coach said. “I was never panicked about anything. The best teams I’ve coached had really good young players and some veterans. … We waited for Jamal (Murray), we waited for different guys and got them later. And it’s all played out.”
Kentucky gets a first chance to see how things come together without Bradshaw at a tournament this week in Toronto. The Wildcats will open Wednesday against Germany in the four-team event that includes Canada and Team Africa.
As much as players aim to win, the objective is building the chemistry they hope will pay off next March.
“It’s going to be good for us,” Wagner said. “Being out there on the court for the first time and learning off each other like we have been in practice against pretty good competition, it’s going to be fun.”
RANGERS GIVE RESTRICTED FREE AGENT DEFENSEMAN K’ANDRE MILLER A 2-YEAR EXTENSION
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers have agreed to terms with restricted free agent defenseman K’Andre Miller on a two-year, $7.7 million contract extension.
General manager Chris Drury announced the deal on Tuesday that will keep the 23-year-old with the Rangers through the 2024-25 season. He has been a mainstay in the lineup since joining the team for the start of the 2020-21 season.
Miller established career-highs in goals (9), assists (34) and points (43) in 2022-23, ranking second among Blueshirts defensemen in all three categories. He also played a role on special teams, being on the ice for 149 minutes of shorthanded time.
The St. Paul, Minnesota, native has 21 goals and 54 assists in 214 career NHL games, all with New York, and has a career plus-44 rating. Since his rookie season in 2020-21, Miller ranks seventh among NHL defensemen in takeaways with 153.
Miller was drafted by New York with the 22nd overall pick in the 2018 draft. Among defensemen taken that year, he ranks first in plus/minus, third in ice time per game (21:14) and fourth in games played.
TYSON FURY AND FRANCIS NGANNOU WILL FIGHT IN SAUDI ARABIA IN OCTOBER
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) Boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and ex-UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will fight Oct. 28 in Saudi Arabia, promoters announced Tuesday.
The latest high-profile crossover boxing match between a mixed martial artist and a professional boxer will take place in a regulation ring, with three ringside judges using the 10-point scoring system. The fight announcement by promoter Top Rank didn’t specify whether the bout will count on the fighters’ professional boxing records or whether Fury’s WBC heavyweight title will be on the line.
Fury and Ngannou have talked about a potential meeting for more than a year since Ngannou’s acrimonious departure from the UFC. Promotional companies Queensberry, Top Rank and Ngannou’s promotional banner, GIMIK Fight Promotions, partnered with Riyadh Season – Saudi Arabia’s state-sponsored entertainment and sports festival – to host the fight in Riyadh.
The fight is not the first in Saudi Arabia, but certainly among the biggest at a time when the country’s sporting investments have been labeled by some experts as “ sportswashing,” or using fields of play to change a country’s public image. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund was the main topic of a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing Tuesday in relation to the fund’s proposed deal with the PGA Tour. The men’s and women’s tennis tours have also had talks with the country and the fund has bought its way into soccer – it owns Newcastle United of the English Premier League – and Formula One racing.
Fury first became the unified world heavyweight champion in November 2015 when he toppled Wladimir Klitschko. After losing his belts during nearly three years of inactivity, the 34-year-old Englishman regained the WBC heavyweight title in 2020 and established himself as the world’s top heavyweight.
Fury is 33-0-1 (24 KOs) after stopping Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora last year. He was in negotiations to meet unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk later this year to determine an undisputed champ, but the fight fell apart.
“This guy is supposed to be the hardest puncher in the world, but let’s see how he reacts when he gets hit by the Big GK,” Fury said of Ngannou in a news release. “I can’t wait to get back out there under the lights. I’m looking forward to showing the world that The Gypsy King is the greatest fighter of his generation in an epic battle with another master of his craft.
“It’s going to be a fight for the ages.”
Ngannou will make his professional boxing debut after going 17-3 (12 KOs) in MMA. The Cameroon-born Frenchman who trains in Las Vegas became the UFC’s first African heavyweight champion in 2021, and he defended his title in January 2022 with a clear unanimous-decision victory over undefeated interim champ Ciryl Gane.
“My dream was always to box, and to box the best,” he said. “After becoming the undisputed MMA heavyweight champion, this is my opportunity to make that dream come true and cement my position as the baddest man on the planet.”
The 36-year-old Ngannou said he has been waiting to fight Fury for three years. He decided not to re-sign with the UFC after his promotional contract expired last year, becoming the first active champion to walk away from MMA’s dominant promotion in nearly two decades.
Ngannou signed a deal in May to compete in the Professional Fighters League MMA promotion.
Boxers and mixed martial artists are competing with increasing frequency in the boxing ring ever since Floyd Mayweather Jr’s wildly lucrative victory over Conor McGregor in 2017.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields is among the boxers who have attempted to start a parallel MMA career, drawn by the sport’s higher payouts for the majority of fighters. Other MMA fighters, including multi-promotion champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos, have tried to start boxing careers.
TOP INDIANA NEWS/RELEASES FROM ORGANIZATIONS
WHERE COLTS LANDED IN LATEST NFL POWER RANKINGS
The Indianapolis Colts are set to report to the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield in exactly two weeks’ time as they prepare to usher in a new era.
For the majority of the analysts, the Colts are ranking near the bottom of the league when it comes to expectations. The arrival of a first-year head coach and rookie quarterback makes it difficult to pin down a comfortable projection.
In the latest power rankings from our friends over at Touchdown Wire, the Colts came in at No. 28 overall.
One of the harder teams to project, it is easy to see the Colts swinging either way with a team littered with talent. This will all come down to how rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson does, and if rookie head coach Shane Steichen can maximize his skill set.
Across the division, the Jacksonville Jaguars led the way at No. 10, followed by the Tennessee Titans at No. 27 and the Houston Texans at No. 30.
With so many new pieces on the offensive side of the ball, it’s difficult to gauge how far away the Colts are from seriously competing. The offense was so poor in 2022 that there’s a good chance it won’t be worse than that, but growing pains should be expected whenever Anthony Richardson takes over as the starter.
The Colts want Richardson to get as many live reps as possible considering the fact that he only has 13 collegiate starts under his belt. Learning on the field rather than sitting on the bench is an avenue the Colts believe Richardson must take.
The defensive side of the ball is solid despite major question marks at the cornerback position so much of the team’s success will come from what they get out of the offensive side of the ball.
INDIANA FEVER BASKETBALL
FEVER F NALYSSA SMITH (STRESS FRACTURE) OUT AT LEAST 2 WEEKS
Indiana Fever forward NaLyssa Smith will be sidelined for at least two weeks after suffering a stress fracture in her left foot, the team said Tuesday.
It was not clear when the 22-year-old sustained the injury. She put in a normal workload of 25 minutes on Sunday in Indiana’s most recent game, a loss to Dallas.
The second overall pick in the 2022 draft has started all 51 games she’s played in her WNBA career, including 19 games this year. Smith is averaging 15.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in her sophomore campaign and has put up 14.3 points and 8.6 boards per game for her career.
The Fever will host the New York Liberty on Wednesday in their final game before the WNBA All-Star break. They have lost seven games in a row.
Indiana also said guard Lexie Hull — also a 2022 first-round pick — has a broken nose and will miss Wednesday’s game. Hull played 34 minutes against Dallas. She is averaging 5.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game this season in 19 games (17 starts).
SEEKING FAST START, FEVER WELCOME HOT-SHOOTING LIBERTY
Breanna Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu have made opponents pay for leaving them open beyond the arc this season, and the New York Liberty have reaped the rewards.
Aliyah Boston and the Indiana Fever, meanwhile, have thrived scoring in the paint. However, the team is mired in the funk of a seven-game losing streak.
Boasting different strengths and trending in opposite directions, the Liberty (13-4) and host Fever (5-14) cross paths Wednesday afternoon in Indianapolis in each team’s final game before the WNBA All-Star break.
Stewart and Ionescu combined for 10 of New York’s 13 3-pointers in Saturday’s 80-76 win over the visiting Seattle Storm.
Stewart canned four and Ionescu nailed six as beneficiaries of the Liberty’s crisp ball movement, which produced 27 field goals on 23 assists.
“Playing together, that’s really the thing,” Stewart told the New York Post. “You don’t want to force it. You want to let it come to you and find the openings and the right places to get going.”
New York’s sharpshooting duo has combined for 82 made 3-pointers this season, the third-most in the WNBA between two teammates as of Tuesday. As a team, New York leads the league with 10.4 made 3-pointers per game.
Interior scoring hasn’t been the issue for the Fever. Indiana is just one of three teams averaging over 39 points in the paint per game as of Tuesday.
Rather, slow starts have hindered Indiana, which has trailed after the first quarter all but once during its seven-game slide.
Boston traced Sunday’s 77-76 home loss against the Dallas Wings back to the Fever’s 27-17 deficit at the end of the first quarter.
“We look at the rest of the stats, the second quarter, second half was a lot better than our first quarter was,” Boston told the Indianapolis Star. “So, just making sure that we dial in defensively and make it harder for them, especially in that first quarter.”
Indiana will have to adjust its first-quarter gameplan to avoid a repeat of its first meeting with the Liberty. New York raced out to a 36-14 lead after the opening stanza and cruised to a 90-73 win on May 21.
Stewart torched the Fever with a Liberty franchise-record 45 points, including 19 in the first quarter.
INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
INDIANA TO FACE TENNESSEE, PRINCETON IN 2023 ELEVANCE HEALTH WOMEN’S FORT MYERS TIP-OFF
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana women’s basketball will participate in the 2023 Elevance Health Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off on November 23-25 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena.
The Hoosiers will participate in the Island Division where it will face off against Tennessee on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23) in a nationally televised game at 6 p.m. ET on FOX and against Princeton on Nov. 25 at 11 a.m. ET.
Tennessee leads the all-time series 2-1, as the two programs met last year in a 79-67 Indiana win in Knoxville on Nov. 14, 2022. The all-time series with Princeton is tied at 1-1, most recently meeting in the round of 32 in 2022 inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall where the Hoosiers pulled out the 56-55 victory. The only other meeting between the Ivy League foe was in 1978.
The 2023-24 Hoosier roster will feature four returners from a team that finished 28-4 overall and 16-2 in Big Ten play. The program won the Big Ten regular season championship outright for the first time in 40 years. First team All-American Mackenzie Holmes highlights Indiana’s roster for the upcoming season along with five other All-Big Ten selections from last season in rising seniors Chloe Moore-McNeil and Sydney Parrish, graduate student Sara Scalia, and rising sophomore Yarden Garzon.
Travel packages for the Elevance Health Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting www.womensfortmyerstipoff.com/travel. The Westin Cape Coral and Marina Village (Shell Division) and the Marriott Sanibel Harbor (Island Division) are the event’s host hotels and fans will have the opportunity to stay where the teams stay and experience resort life to the fullest. Additionally, the Luminary Hotel & Co., a boutique hotel that opened in September 2020, is the premium destination to enjoy the many attractions of historic and lively downtown Fort Myers. Ticket-only packages will become available in September.
PURDUE TRACK AND FIELD
PURDUE WINS TWO NATIONAL TITLES AT U20 CHAMPIONSHIPS
By: Charlie Healy
EUGENE, Ore., and KINGSTON, Jamaica – Current and incoming members of the Purdue track & field team won two U20 national titles and totaled five top-three finishes at the 2023 USATF U20 Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, and the 2023 JAAA National Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica, from June 6-9.
Rising sophomore Seth Allen won the U.S. U20 national title in the discus and incoming Boilermaker Britannia Johnson won the Jamaican U20 championship in the shot put. Johnson also was second in the discus, and her sister, Britannie Johnson, was the runner-up in the shot put and third in the discus in Jamaica. Rising sophomore Eric Young II joined Allen in Eugene and ran in the 200-meter.
With their performances, Allen and Britannia and Britannie Johnson each qualified to represent their countries at the 2023 Pan American U20 Championships in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, from August 4-6.
Allen’s U.S. U20 gold medal came in the discus with a throw of 60.32 meters. The mark was on his fourth attempt, though Allen’s third and fifth throws, of 59.56m and 58.77m respectively, also would have been good enough for the victory. The native of Austell, Georgia, won by more than 1.60m on Saturday, July 8, at Hayward Field.
At National Stadium in Kingston on Friday, July 7, Britannia Johnson was crowned the Jamaican U20 shot put champion with a mark of 14.79m. She was the only competitor to eclipse 14.00m thanks to her sixth-attempt mark. That moved her up from second after Britannia’s previous best of 13.76m, on her third attempt. Britannia Johnson bested her sister, Britannie Johnson, who took silver with a 14.00m, on her second attempt. Five of Brittanie’s six marks all would have secured second place.
One day earlier, on Thursday, the Kingston, St. Andrew, Jamaica, natives were second and third in the discus. Britannia earned the runner-up finish with a throw of 48.88. She was one of two competitors to pass 43.75m, which she did twice. Britannia’s best mark of 48.88m came on her fifth attempt to top her opening throw of 44.55m. Meanwhile, Britannie Johnson was third with a mark of 43.74m, which came on her third attempt. She secured the bronze-medal finish by almost one meter.
On Sunday, July 9, at Hayward Field, Young II raced in the U.S. U20 200m and was 10th overall in 21.45. From Kennesaw, Georgia, Young II was just 0.17 seconds shy of a top-eight finish and a spot in Sunday night’s final.
BALL STATE BASEBALL
BALL STATE BASEBALL HAS THREE SELECTED IN 2023 MLB DRAFT
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team had three student-athletes selected in the 2023 MLB Draft, which was tied for the most in the Mid-American Conference. Trennor O’Donnell, Ryan Brown, and Ty Johnson were all selected in this year’s draft.
For the fifth-straight draft, the Cardinals have had at least one pitcher drafted inside the top-10 rounds. Head Coach Rich Maloney has had a total of 18 players, 14 pitchers and four position players, drafted since 2013. The three draft picks are the most since 2016 when Ball State had four players selected.
O’Donnell was the first taken by the Boston Red Sox in the eighth round with the 238th pick. O’Donnell earned a post on the ABCA Midwest All-Region Team after a stellar season. He finished the year with a 2.93 ERA, which is tied for 37th in the NCAA and second in the MAC. He tallied 97 strikeouts, which were tied for 61st in the NCAA and fourth in the MAC. He posted a 5-4 record with one complete game. He led the staff with 92 innings pitched. He made 16 appearances with 15 starts. He was named to the All-MAC Second Team. He saved his best two performances for last. He threw a complete game in a win against Kent State in the MAC Tournament, where he struck out eight and gave up just one unearned run. He followed that with a strong showing in the NCAA Regional against Kentucky, where he went 7 1/3 innings with five strikeouts.
Brown was the next Cardinal taken, as he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the ninth round with the 280th pick. He finished the season with 56 strikeouts, which was fifth on the team. He was 4-1 on the year and threw 28 1/3 innings. Opponents hit just .184 against him for the season. He finished with a 4.76 ERA.
Johnson closed out the draft for BSU and was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the 446th pick in the 15th round. He finished third on the team with 68 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings of work. He posted a 4-2 record with a 3.81 ERA and has three saves.
Rich Maloney on the Three Cardinal Draft Picks
“It was a joy watching Trennor O’Donnell, Ryan Brown, and Ty Johnson develop from high school players to college players to pro players right before our eyes. I’m happy for them as they realize their dream of playing at the next level is coming true. They have now become a part of a large fraternity of Ball State players that have played professional baseball.”
History of Cardinals Drafted by MLB Team
Baltimore Orioles – 8
Miami Marlins – 6
San Diego Padres – 6
Boston Red Sox – 4
Cleveland Guardians – 4
Houston Astros – 4
San Francisco Giants – 4
Arizona Diamondbacks – 3
Chicago White Sox – 3
Cincinnati Reds – 3
Los Angeles Dodgers – 3
New York Yankees – 3
Pittsburgh Pirates – 3
Toronto Blue Jays – 3
Atlanta Braves – 2
Chicago Cubs – 2
Kansas City Royals – 2
Minnesota Twins – 2
Oakland Athletics – 2
Colorado Rockies – 1
Detroit Tigers – 1
Los Angeles Angels – 1
New York Mets – 1
Philadelphia Phillies – 1
St. Louis Cardinals – 1
Seattle Mariners – 1
Tampa Bay Rays – 1
NOTRE DAME HOCKEY
IRISH HOCKEY ANNOUNCES 2023-24 NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame hockey team has announced their non-conference opponents for the upcoming season, featuring Augustana in its inaugural season and all but one game inside Compton Family Ice Arena.
The Irish open their season with a home series against Clarkson, Oct. 7-8 before hitting the road for their lone non-conference game away, an Oct. 14 matchup at RIT.
The team then closes out the first month of October with series against Boston University (Oct. 20-21) and Mercyhurst (Oct. 26-27).
The annual Thanksgiving week game between the Irish and Eagles of Boston College returns to Compton Family Ice Arena in 2023, when the two teams face off Nov. 24 to round out the first half of the season’s non-conference slate.
In their first series back from winter break, the Irish square off with Augustana in the first meeting between the two programs. Puck drop on the first series in program history is set for Dec. 30-31.
Game times for all 2023-24 home games will be announced at a later date.
INDIANA STATE BASEBALL
JACHEC SELECTED IN THE 18TH ROUND OF THE 2023 MLB DRAFT BY THE CLEVELAND GUARDIANS
MLB.com – Indiana State right-hander Matt Jachec was selected by the Cleveland Guardians in the 18th round of the 2023 MLB Draft.
Jachec (Pick: 548) becomes the first Sycamore to be taken in the MLB Draft since 2019 and the 14th Indiana State baseball player selected in the Mitch Hannahs coaching era. He is also the 90th Sycamore to be taken in the MLB Draft since 1965.
Jachec finished the 2023 season earning First Team All-Conference honors for the second consecutive season. He wrapped up the year with a 7-4 record and a 4.05 ERA over 104.1 innings pitched. He posted a career-best 104:17 strikeout-to-walk ratio while allowing opponents to hit just .256 from the plate.
Jachec highlighted his year with a trio of complete games in the 2023 season starting on March 10 striking out 10 in a complete-game 5-1 win at Memphis. He added his first collegiate shutout on April 7 with a 2-0 win over Illinois State. His final complete game effort came at Bradley with a 6-1 win over the Braves on May 5.
The Sycamore right-hander shined in the postseason against TCU at the 2023 NCAA Fort Worth Super Regional. Jachec battled through arguably one of the hottest lineups in the country and kept them at bay through 8.0 innings while striking out seven against the Horned Frogs.
Over his career, Jachec has been one of the top starters in program history posting a 17-6 mark on the mound with a career 3.56 ERA. He’s added a career 199:32 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 220.0 career innings over four seasons with the Sycamores.
U OF INDY ATHLETICS
UINDY ATHLETICS ANNOUNCES 2022-23 DEPARTMENTAL AWARD WINNERS
INDIANAPOLIS – The UIndy athletics department announced its 2022-23 year-end award winners on Tuesday, highlighting six student-athletes in multiple categories. Notably, swimmers Cedric Buessing and Johanna Buys were voted their respective gender’s Dr. Robert M. Brooker Most Valuable Athlete after concluding historic seasons in the pool.
Each varsity sport’s head coach selected a Most Valuable Player from their respective roster. Those winners were then eligible for selection as UIndy’s overall male and female Athletes of the Year, chosen by the athletics department coaches and administrators.
Buys became the first-ever female swimmer in school history to win three event national championships (50 free, 200 free relay, 400 free relay) in a single NCAA DII Championship meet, while accumulating seven All-American accolades (six 1st team, one honorable mention). In doing so, Buys broke the school, meet, and Division II record in her national-championship-winning 50 free swim at Nationals and reset the school record in the 100 free event. Buys was instrumental in UIndy securing the GLVC title this winter, claiming gold in three events (50 free, 200 free relay, 400 free relay), after winning GLVC Athlete of the Week three times.
The Lusaka, Zambia, native also placed in the top three in six events at Nationals to help the Greyhounds earn their second straight national runner-up finish. Additionally, Buys was named to the Academic All-America Second Team by College Sports Communicators and earned the GLVC Council of Presidents’ Academic Excellence Award with a career 3.5+ GPA.
Buessing impressed, as well, winning the national title in the 1000 free at Nationals to help propel the Greyhounds to their first-ever team championship. The sophomore finished with five All-America honors at the event, including three runner-up performances in the 400 IM, 500 free, and 1650 free, while placing eighth in the 800 free relay. The Grevenbroich, Germany, native set school records at Nationals in four of those five events (all but the 1650, which he set at the GLVC Championships). Buessing was voted GLVC Men’s Swimmer of the Year by the coaches, following a dominating performance in which he earned four gold medals at the conference meet (500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free and 400 IM) and broke the GLVC record in the 400 IM. He also earned GLVC Athlete of the Week on a pair of occasions this past winter.
The sophomore was recently voted to the Academic All-America Second Team by College Sports Communicators.
A complete list of the UIndy athletic department’s 2022-23 year-end award winners can be found below.
Departmental awards voted on by coaches and administrators
Dr. Robert M. Brooker Most Valuable Female Athlete
Johanna Buys, women’s swimming & diving
Dr. Robert M. Brooker Most Valuable Male Athlete
Cedric Buessing, men’s swimming & diving
Charles “Chuck” Mallendar Female Scholar-Athlete
Catharina Graf, women’s golf
Parker P. Jordan Male Scholar-Athlete
Aaron Barnett, football
Kelso M. Reid Mental Attitude Award
Derek Blubaugh, wrestling
Walter Brenneman Memorial Sportsmanship Award
Jesse Bingham, men’s basketball
Team awards voted on by coaches or teams
|Cross Country-W||Melissa Spencer||Hanna Stamm|
|Cross Country-M||AJ Goecker||Aaron Trejo|
|Football||Toriano Clinton (off)||Benjamin Hunnius|
|Kiave’ Guerrier (def)|
|Soccer-W||Alexi Hardie||Elisabeth Kessler|
|Soccer-M||Pierre Lurot||Sean Werling|
|Volleyball||Grace Hegwood||Emma Jones|
|Basketball-W||Sadie Hill||Mya Scheidt|
|Basketball-M||Kendrick Tchoua||Jesse Bingham|
|Swimming-W||Johanna Buys||Kaitlyn McCoy|
|Swimming-M||Cedric Buessing||Jason Lenzo|
|Wrestling||Logan Bailey||Derek Blubaugh|
|Baseball||Drew Donaldson||E.J. White|
|Golf-W||Elyse Stasil||Anci Dy|
|Golf-M||Cam Carroll||Jacob Nickell|
|Lacrosse-W||Anna Ziemba||Christina Sato|
|Lacrosse-M||Drew Billig||Ben Foster|
|Softball||Kenzee Smith||Tara Williams|
|Tennis-W||Diane Flament||Maria Fiacan|
|Tennis-M||Tom Zeuch||August Ehrnrooth|
|Track-W||Zoe Pentecost||Sabrina Robison|
|Track-M||Treyton Arnold||Keeton Adams|
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
|Tampa Bay||58||35||.624||–||35 – 15||23 – 20||17 – 10||14 – 3||9 – 7||3 – 7||W 1|
|Baltimore||54||35||.607||2||26 – 18||28 – 17||16 – 11||18 – 7||10 – 7||6 – 4||W 5|
|Toronto||50||41||.549||7||23 – 18||27 – 23||7 – 20||16 – 6||11 – 8||6 – 4||W 1|
|NY Yankees||49||42||.538||8||28 – 23||21 – 19||13 – 17||8 – 8||14 – 8||4 – 6||L 1|
|Boston||48||43||.527||9||26 – 22||22 – 21||16 – 11||11 – 8||10 – 6||8 – 2||W 5|
|Cleveland||45||45||.500||–||24 – 22||21 – 23||7 – 8||13 – 13||13 – 6||6 – 4||L 1|
|Minnesota||45||46||.495||0.5||26 – 22||19 – 24||12 – 17||18 – 12||5 – 4||5 – 5||L 3|
|Detroit||39||50||.438||5.5||20 – 25||19 – 25||3 – 16||15 – 11||7 – 9||5 – 5||L 1|
|Chi White Sox||38||54||.413||8||21 – 25||17 – 29||6 – 16||15 – 11||9 – 14||3 – 7||L 2|
|Kansas City||26||65||.286||19.5||13 – 31||13 – 34||4 – 10||8 – 22||4 – 11||3 – 7||W 1|
|Texas||52||39||.571||–||27 – 18||25 – 21||11 – 11||11 – 5||16 – 11||3 – 7||L 2|
|Houston||50||41||.549||2||25 – 22||25 – 19||5 – 5||8 – 11||17 – 10||6 – 4||L 1|
|Seattle||45||44||.506||6||24 – 20||21 – 24||7 – 11||7 – 6||15 – 11||7 – 3||W 1|
|LA Angels||45||46||.495||7||23 – 20||22 – 26||8 – 9||11 – 8||15 – 12||1 – 9||L 5|
|Oakland||25||67||.272||27.5||12 – 32||13 – 35||5 – 18||7 – 8||4 – 23||4 – 6||L 4|
|Atlanta||60||29||.674||–||30 – 15||30 – 14||22 – 6||8 – 1||10 – 7||8 – 2||L 1|
|Miami||53||39||.576||8.5||30 – 18||23 – 21||13 – 16||11 – 6||9 – 10||5 – 5||W 2|
|Philadelphia||48||41||.539||12||22 – 16||26 – 25||9 – 15||9 – 4||11 – 12||6 – 4||L 2|
|NY Mets||42||48||.467||18.5||20 – 19||22 – 29||13 – 13||5 – 14||14 – 11||6 – 4||L 2|
|Washington||36||54||.400||24.5||15 – 32||21 – 22||9 – 16||5 – 9||9 – 13||4 – 6||W 2|
|Cincinnati||50||41||.549||–||23 – 21||27 – 20||12 – 11||12 – 14||9 – 6||7 – 3||L 1|
|Milwaukee||49||42||.538||1||26 – 21||23 – 21||6 – 1||17 – 9||8 – 15||6 – 4||W 1|
|Chi Cubs||42||47||.472||7||21 – 22||21 – 25||6 – 13||12 – 11||9 – 8||5 – 5||W 1|
|Pittsburgh||41||49||.456||8.5||22 – 21||19 – 28||5 – 5||11 – 15||14 – 11||3 – 7||W 1|
|St. Louis||38||52||.422||11.5||17 – 25||21 – 27||5 – 8||11 – 14||7 – 13||5 – 5||W 2|
|LA Dodgers||51||38||.573||–||29 – 16||22 – 22||9 – 6||15 – 12||14 – 11||7 – 3||W 4|
|Arizona||52||39||.571||–||26 – 24||26 – 15||11 – 14||10 – 5||17 – 11||4 – 6||L 1|
|San Francisco||49||41||.544||2.5||26 – 22||23 – 19||10 – 9||13 – 7||15 – 10||4 – 6||W 2|
|San Diego||43||47||.478||8.5||25 – 23||18 – 24||12 – 10||7 – 13||12 – 13||6 – 4||W 2|
|Colorado||34||57||.374||18||20 – 24||14 – 33||11 – 14||8 – 10||6 – 19||3 – 7||L 2|
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. The outfielder’s round-trippers are 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 Thanks to an overflow crowd at Sportsman Park, routine fly balls become ground-rule doubles when the ball lands among the fans ringing the outfield walls. After collecting nine two-baggers in the opener, the Cubs and Cardinals combined to hit another twenty-three, including a record 13 by the Redbirds, in the nightcap, setting a major league mark of a total of thirty-two doubles in the twin bill.
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.
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, remaining a game shy of the record set by Willie Keeler’s 45-game streak over the 1896 and 1897 seasons with the NL’s Baltimore Orioles.
1946 Johnny Sain faces only 28 batters when the Braves beat the hometown Reds at Crosley Field, 1-0. The only blemish on the right-hander’s performance in the 96-minute contest is Grady Hatton’s first-inning, two-out double, a popup behind third base that drops among three fielders.
1949 The major league owners agree to install warning tracks made of cinder in front of outfield fences before the start of the season next year. 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 featuring black players occurs at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field. Dodgers Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, and Don Newcombe represent the National League in an 11-7 loss to Indians outfielder Larry Doby and his AL teammates.
1951 At Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Yankee right-hander Allie Reynolds faces only 29 batters en route to no-hitting 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 Milwaukee’s 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 and the 113 degrees on the playing surface result 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. Baltimore muffs Cesar Gutierrez’s 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 an hour and 16-minutes delay, the White Sox forfeited the second game of a twi-night doubleheader against the Tigers when over 5,000 adolescents refuse to leave the field during Disco Demolition Night. Mike Veeck’s promotion involves admitting fans for 98 cents with a disco LP or .45 and then collecting the vinyl records to blow up in center field.
1988 Terry Steinbach, a .217 hitter believed to be an All-Star selection due to A’s fans stuffing the ballot box, hits a home run off Doc Gooden in his first at-bat as an All-Star. The Oakland backstop, named the game’s MVP, drives in the American League’s second run with a sac fly, accounting for both runs in the team’s 2-1 victory over the Senior Circuit at Riverfront Stadium.
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, 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 Freddie Patek (Angels, 1980). The Atlanta infielder had hit only 39 homers in the past six seasons.
1993 Ken Griffey, Jr. becomes the first and only major leaguer to hit Baltimore’s B&O Warehouse on the fly. The Mariner outfielder launches the estimated 460-foot shot during the All-Star Game Home Run Derby contest at Camden Yards.
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 of 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, the 34-year-old right-hander appears to be continually glaring into the general manager’s suite at Dan Duquette in response to the GM’s remarks during last year’s contentious negotiations that he hoped to keep the Rocket in Boston during the ‘twilight’ of his career.
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 Rincon takes over in the tenth inning to preserve starter Francisco Cordova’s effort, getting 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 send hurler Andy Ashby to the Braves for pitcher Bruce Chen and Jimmy Osting. Atlanta gets the better 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, representing Venezuela in the event’s new international format, goes deep 24 times in the first round, adds 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. However, the commissioner 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, and cash. The team hopes the 30-year-old third baseman can provide some pop in the Houston lineup, which presently has 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. 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 Midsummer 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.
2019 On the day before what would have been her son Tyler’s 28th birthday, Debbie Skaggs throws a perfect ceremonial first pitch with his teammates wearing jersey #45 in honor of the left-hander, who was found dead in the Angels’ hotel in Southlake (TX) on July 1. LA starter Taylor Cole (2) and reliever Felix Pena (7) combine to throw the 11th no-hitter in franchise history in the team’s 13-0 victory over the Mariners before the players removed their jerseys, one by one, spreading them over the mound, covering the bump in crimson.
2021 Pete Alonso successfully defends his Home Run Derby crown, hitting 23 home runs in the finals to defeat Orioles’ first baseman Trey Mancini at Coors Field. The Mets’ first baseman set a first-round record with 35 home runs, moving past Royals catcher Salvador Perez before eliminating Juan Soto, who, after two sets of tiebreakers, spoiled Shohei Ohtani’s bid to advance to beyond the first round.
2021 The Diamondbacks select 17-year-old right-hander Jacob Steinmetz, the first known practicing Orthodox Jewish player chosen by a major league team, in the third round (77th overall) in the first-year player draft. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Long Islander, featuring a mid-to-upper-90s fastball with a devastating curveball, shared with the New York Post he will walk to games rather than taking transportation on the Sabbath but will participate in games on Friday nights, Saturdays afternoons, and Jewish holidays.
2023 Before the All-State Game at Petco Park, Major League Baseball announces that the leagues’ batting championships will be named to honor two Hall of Famers known for their offensive prowess, Tony Gwynn (NL) and Rod Carew (AL). The late Padres’ legend Gwynn, a career .338 hitter, shares the record with the Pirates’ Honus Wagner with eight NL batting titles, and Carew, a lifetime .328 hitter, hit over .300 for 15 consecutive seasons (1969-83) while playing for the Twins and Angels.
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
Dick Williams was a solid big league player at a number of spots across the diamond during his 13-year playing career.
But in the dugout as a manager, Williams would earn his spot among baseball’s immortals.
Williams proved to be one of baseball’s best managers at turning losing teams into winners. It all started at the age of 37 in 1967 when he took over the Boston Red Sox, a team that had finished ninth in the 10-team American League the previous season. Not much was expected of the Sox, but Williams led them to 92 wins in one of the most spirited pennant chases in league history. The season was dubbed “The Impossible Dream” – with Boston coming within one win of the World Series title. It marked the re-ignition of the town’s love affair with the team.
“We didn’t know how to study the game,” explained Red Sox first baseman George Scott. “Dick Showed us how to do it. He pressed the right buttons for everyone on that team.”
Williams was dismissed late in the 1969 season and spent 1970 on Gene Mauch’s staff with the Montreal Expos. In 1971, Williams took over the Oakland Athletics after their second place finish in 1970 and led them to the American League West title. He followed that up with two straight World Series championships, which prompted A’s owner Charlie Finley to proclaim: “Dick Williams is the best manager I’ve ever had. I ought to know. I’ve fired enough of them.”
Finley wasn’t the only owner enamored with Williams. Yankee owner George Steinbrenner thought so much of Williams, he tried to hire him twice, unsuccessfully: Once after he had a falling out with Finley and Finley wouldn’t let him out of his contract, and once again after the tragic death of Billy Martin in 1989, at which point Williams declared himself “too old to manage again.”
Williams managed the Angels from 1974-76, then took over the Expos in 1977 and helped Montreal become one of the National League’s top teams. He was dismissed late in the 1981 season as the Expos charged to the postseason, advancing to the NLCS under new manager Jim Fanning.
Williams landed in San Diego in 1982 – and by 1984 led the Padres to their first National League pennant. He left the Padres prior to the 1986 season and soon found himself in Seattle, where he managed the Mariners until early in the 1988 season.
His final totals: A record of 1,571-1,451 with four pennants and two World Series titles.
“He’s one of the best managers of all-time, in my opinion,” said Goose Gossage. “And he’s the best manager I’ve ever played for.”
Williams was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2008. He passed away on July 7, 2011.
FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Place of Birth: Borger, TX
Date of Birth: May 16, 1943
Jersey Number: 44
High School: Stinnett, TX (Stinnett HS)
Donny “The Golden Palomino” Anderson was a three-time all-Southwest Conference halfback 1963-65 and two-time All-America halfback 1964- 65. As a sophomore at Texas Tech, he intercepted a pass and ran 43 yards against Washington State. As a junior his record included a 90-yard run from scrimmage against Texas Christian and a 68-yard punt against Southern Methodist. His credits for his senior year of 1965 were astonishing. He ran a kickoff back 100 yards against Oklahoma State, caught ten passes against Arkansas, and scored 17 touchdowns on the season. The Sporting News named him co-winner (with Jim Grabowski of Illinois) of its Player of the Year Award. His 5111 yards on all-purpose running was a Texas Tech record. This includes his career yardage by rushing, receiving, kick returns, and interception returns. Anderson played nine years of pro football after Texas Tech.
1 – 47 – 25 – 22
July 12, 1945 – Boston Brave outfielder Tommy Holmes, in his Number 1 Uniform was on a mission during this 1945 MLB season. Going into the game against the Chicago Cubs on this day he had hit safely in a National League record of 37 games. The Cubs beat Boston, 6-1 and put a stop to Holmes’ streak. The record of Tommy H. from 1945 stood all the way to 1978 when Pete Rose (Number 14) sailed past it with 44 games, even though a couple of players reached 31 including Willie Davis (Number 3)in 1969, and Rico Carty (Number 25) in 1970.
July 12, 1946 – Vance Dinges, Number 47 hit the only Philadelphia Phillies pinch hit inside-the-park Home Run in franchise history.
July 12, 1949 – The NFL’s Los Angeles Rams signed Quarterback Norm Van Brocklin to a contract. The Dutchman played for the Rams through the 1957 season. In his last three seasons of 1958 through 1960 he played with the Philadelphia Eagles even winning an NFL Championship with each team, the Rams in 1951 and the Eagles in 1960. He wore Number 25 for his first few years on the Rams and then switched to the number he would wear the remainder of his career, Number 11.
July 12, 1951 – The New York Yankees pitcher known as Allie Reynolds, Number 22 threw a no-hit masterpiece in Cleveland against the Indians, his former team, in a 1-0 Yanks win.
July 12, 1954 – The MLBPA was founded to help players have their rights protected in an organized union.
July 12, 1979 – In one of the most bizzare forfeits of all time, “Disco Demolition Night” at Comiskey Park was the promotion in between the games of a double header between the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. The promotion was a success in the fact that fans actively participated , however when the crowd went wild and stormed the field destroying the disco records it caused game officials to declare that the White Sox had to forfeit second game of the twin-bill. For the promotion local Chicago DJ Steve Dahl promised to blow up disco records in between games. It did not go to plan as midway through the first game records started to fly out of the stands frisbee style on to the playing field causing delays while attendants had to remove them so that players would not get hurt. Police arrested 39 people after the mob stormed the field setting fires that destroyed a batting cage, pulling up bases and other vandalism.
TV SPORTS WEDNESDAY
|NBA SUMMER LEAGUE||TIME ET||TV|
|LA Clippers vs. Memphis||3:30pm||NBATV|
|Minnesota vs. Atlanta||4:00pm||ESPN2|
|Golden State vs. Dallas||5:30pm||NBATV|
|Toronto vs. Detroit||6:00pm||ESPN2|
|Oklahoma City vs. Indiana||7:30pm||NBATV|
|New York vs. Prlando||8:00pm||ESPN2|
|Denver vs. Utah||9:30pm||NBATV|
|LA Lakers vs. Boston||10:00pm||ESPN2|
|SOCCER MATCHES||TIME ET||TV|
|UEFA Champions League: Astana vs Dinamo Tbilisi||10:00am||Paramount+|
|UEFA Champions League: Slovan Bratislava vs Swift Hesperange||2:30pm||Paramount+|
|CONCACAF Gold Cup: Semifinals||7:30pm||FS1|
|MLS: New England vs Atlanta United||7:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: New York RB vs Cincinnati||7:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: Chicago Fire vs CF Montréal||8:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: Houston Dynamo vs Minnesota United||8:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: Sporting KC vs Real Salt Lake||8:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: Nashville SC vs Philadelphia Union||8:30pm||Apple TV|
|Canadian Premier League: Cavalry vs Atlético Ottawa||8:30pm||FS2|
|CONCACAF Gold Cup: Semifinals||10:30pm||FS1|
|MLS: SJ Earthquakes vs Seattle Sounders FC||10:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Austin||10:30pm||Apple TV|
|MLS: Los Angeles FC vs St. Louis City||10:30pm||Apple TV|
|New York vs Indiana||12:00pm||NBATV|
|Connecticut vs Chicago||12:00pm||League Pass|
|Dallas vs Minnesota||1:00pm|
|Seattle vs Atlanta||7:00pm||League Pass|
|Las Vegas vs Los Angeles||10:00pm||CBSSN|