MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

PHILADELPHIA 7 ATLANTA 2

DETROIT 4 SAN DIEGO 3

LA ANGELS 4 KANSAS CITY 0

MILWAUKEE 10 MINNESOTA 4

LA DODGERS 7 WASHINGTON 1

COLORADO 6 CHICAGO WHITE SOX 5

ARIZONA 5 SAN FRANCISCO 3

OAKLAND 4 HOUSTON 2

SEATTLE 4 TEXAS 2

CINCINNATI 5 MIAMI 3

TAMPA BAY 6 BALTIMORE 4 (10)

ST. LOUIS 6 TORONTO 1

NY METS 3 NY YANKEES 2

CLEVELAND 7 BOSTON 6

MLB WIRE: https://www.mlb.com/news/juan-soto-trade-deadline-faq

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

TOLEDO 3 INDIANAPOLIS 0

LAKE COUNTY 4 SOUTH BEND 3

PEORIA 4 FORT WAYNE 1

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

ORLANDO 5 NEW YORK 0

SACRAMENTO 0 KANSAS CITY 0

NFL WIRE: https://www.nfl.com/

NBA WIRE: https://www.nba.com/

NHL WIRE: https://www.nhl.com/

RACING SCHEDULE AT INDY THIS WEEK

INDYCAR

Race: Gallagher Grand Prix 

Format: 85 laps (207.32 miles) 

When: Green flag is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday, July 30, 2022 

TV: NBC; Leigh Diffey, anchor; James Hinchcliffe, Townsend Bell, analysts. 

Radio: IndyCar Radio, with Mark Jaynes as anchor; Channel 160 on SiriusXM 

NASCAR XFINITY

Race: Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard 

Format: 62 laps (151.2 miles) 

When: 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, July 30, 2022 

TV: NBC; Rick Allen, anchor; Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte, analysts. 

Radio: Indianapolis Motor Speedway radio network; Channel 90 on SiriusXM 

NASCAR

Race: Verizon 200 at the Brickyard 

Format: 82 laps (200 miles) 

When: 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, July 31, 2022 

TV: NBC; Rick Allen, anchor; Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte, analysts. 

Radio: Indianapolis Motor Speedway radio network; Channel 90 on SiriusXM

INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY SCHEDULE

Friday, July 29 

8:30 a.m. ET: Gates open 

9:30-11 a.m.: IndyCar practice 

1-2:15 p.m.: IndyCar qualifying 

3:05-3:35 p.m.: NASCAR Xfinity practice 

3:35 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: NASCAR Xfinity qualifying 

5 p.m.: Gates close 

Saturday, July 30 

7:30 a.m.: Gates open 

8:15-8:45 a.m.: IndyCar warm-up 

9:35-10:35 a.m.: NASCAR Cup practice 

10:35-11:30 a.m.: NASCAR Cup qualifying 

12:30 p.m.: IndyCar race 

3:30 p.m.: NASCAR Xfinity race 

Sunday, July 31 

11 a.m.: Gates open 

2:30 p.m.: NASCAR Cup race 

INDYCAR WIRE: https://www.indycar.com/

THE INDIANA SRN WEEK ONE FOOTBALL BROADCAST SCHEDULE

AUGUST 19

SPEEDWAY V COVENANT CHRISTIAN

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN V TRADERS POINT

EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL V JASPER

PERRY MERIDIAN V FRANKLIN CENTRAL

THE INDIANA SRN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PRE-SEASON POLLS

6A

  1. WESTFIELD
  2. BROWNSBURG
  3. CENTER GROVE
  4. WHITELAND
  5. CASTLE

5A

  1. CATHEDRAL
  2. HARRISON (LAFAYETTE)
  3. VALPARAISO
  4. HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN
  5. FISHERS

4A

  1. MT. VERNON
  2. RONCALLI
  3. EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL
  4. MOORESVILLE
  5. TRI-WEST

3A

  1. CHATARD
  2. DANVILLE
  3. GIBSON SOUTHERN
  4. OWEN VALLEY
  5. JASPER

2A

  1. EVANSVILLE MATER DEI
  2. EASTBROOK
  3. HERITAGE CHRISTIAN
  4. SCECINA
  5. LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC

1A

  1. MONROE CENTRAL
  2. INDY LUTHERAN
  3. ADAMS CENTRAL
  4. COVENANT CHRISTIAN
  5. PARKE HERITAGE

INDIANA’S BEST OF THE BEST FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF 2022

LB DRAYK BOWEN (ANDREAN)

FIVE STAR

6’2” 225

COMMITTED TO NOTRE DAME

DE JOSHUA MICKENS (LAWRENCE CENTRAL)

FOUR STAR

6’5” 225

CONSIDERING: LSU, NORTH CAROLINA, MICHIGAN STATE, PURDUE AND USC

S DAEH McCULLOUGH (SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH)

FOUR STAR

6’2” 200

COMMITTED TO CINCINNATI

DL KENDRICK GILBERT (CATHEDRAL)

FOUR STAR

6’5” 250

CONSIDERING: IOWA, KENTUCKY, LSU, PURDUE AND BOSTON COLLEGE

OT TREVOR LAUCK (RONCALLI)

FOUR STAR

6’6” 285

COMMITTED TO IOWA

OT LUKE BURGESS (NEW PALESTINE)

FOUR STAR

6’8” 285

COMMITTED TO LOUISVILLE

WR BRAUNTAE JOHNSON (FT. WAYNE NORTH)

FOUR STAR

6’3” 170

CONSIDERING: BALL STATE, CENTRAL MICHIGAN, CINCINNATI, INDIANA AND IOWA STATE

OL IAN MOORE (NEW PALESTINE)

FOUR STAR

6’5” 295

CONSIDERING: BOSTON COLLEGE, CENTRAL MICHIGAN, CINCINNATI, DUKE AND FLORIDA STATE

LB CHRIS GRAHAM (WARREN CENTRAL)

5’11” 210

FOUR STAR

COMMITTED TO MICHIGAN

DE RYAN BAKER (CHATARD)

6’6” 225

FOUR STAR

COMMITTED TO PURDUE

RB JADEN HART (MICHIGAN CITY)

THREE STAR

5’10” 180

CONSIDERING: BOSTON COLLEGE, UCONN, IOWA STATE, KENTUCKY AND MINNESOTA

DANNY O’NEIL (CATHEDRAL)

THREE STAR

6’0” 185

CONSIDERING: INDIANA, KENTUCKY, PURDUE, LOUISVILLE AND MIAMI OH

AIDEN STEINFELDT (BLOOMINGTON NORTH)

THREE STAR

6’5” 235

COSIDERING: INDIANA, MINNESOTA, WESTERN MICHIGAN, COLORADO AND EASTERN MICHIGAN

WR PATRICK CLACKS (ANDREAN)

THREE STAR

6’0” 175

CONSIDERING: BALL STATE, UCONN, MIAMI OH, PITT AND WESTERN MICHIGAN

OL LEIGHTON JONES (BROWNSBURG)

THREE STAR

6’4” 250

COMMITTED TO IOWA

TE SAM WEST (GREENSBURG)

THREE STAR

6’5” 205

COMMITTED TO INDIANA

LB AYCEN STEVENS (DECATUR CENTRAL)

THREE STAR

6’4” 210

CONSIDERING: IOWA STATE, PURDUE, NEBRASKA, VIRGINIA TECH

S WINSTON BERGLUND (CARMEL)

THREE STAR

6’1” 191

CONSIDERING: PURDUE, AKRON, BALL STATE, BOSTON COLLEGE AND BOWLIN GREEN

DE WILL HELDT (CATHEDRAL)

6’6” 240

THREE STAR

CONSIDERING: IOWA, PURDUE, NORTHWESTERN

S DILLON THIENEMAN (WESTFIELD)

6’ 0” 190

THREE STAR

COMMITTED TO PURDUE

WR JUSTIN MARHSALL (MERRILLVILLE)

5’11” 175

THREE STAR

CONSIDERING: MINNESOTA, WISCONSIN, BALL STATE, BOSTON COLLEGE AND CENTRAL MICHIGAN

WR JARON TIBBS (CATHEDRAL)

6’4” 190

THREE STAR

COMMITTED TO IOWA

OT DE’ERIC MISTER (GARY WEST)

6’7” 285

THREE STAR

COMMITTED TO MINNESOTA

OT BEN DECKER (NOBLESVILLE)

6’5” 280

THREE STAR

COMMITTED TO MARYLAND

WR JOE WALKER (WARREN CENTRAL)

6’4” 210

THREE STAR

CONSIDERING: INDIANA, MIAMI OH, PITT, PURDUE AND TOLEDO

WR TY LOFTON (PIKE)

6’3” 237

THREE STAR

CONSIDERING: CENTRAL MICHIGAN, CINCINNATI, IOWA STATE, TOLEDO AND WISCONSIN

ATH PHILLIP ROCHE (MERRILLVILLE)

6’1” 190

THREE STAR

CONSIDERING: BOSTON COLLEGE, CENTRAL MICHIGAN, CINCINNATI, INDIANA AND MISSOURI

WR TJ MCWILLIAMS (NORTH CENTRAL)

6’0” 158

THREE STAR

COMMITED TO PURDUE

TE GEORGE BURHENN (MT. VERNON FORTVILLE)

6’5” 215

THREE STAR

CONSIDERING: AIR FORCE, ARMY, BALL STATE, INDIANA STATE AND IOWA

DL PATRICK KENDALL (CATHEDRAL)

6’4” 278

TWO STAR

COMMITTED TO ARMY

DL KEVION WELLINGTON (NORTH CENTRAL)

6’2” 260

TWO STAR

COMMITTED TO WESTERN MICHIGAN

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL ELITE OFFENSIVE LINEMEN 2022

OL BRAYDEN JELLISON ELKHART  6-3 280

OL BEN DECKER NOBLESVILLE  6-6 290

OL SANTANA ALO BROWNSBURG  6-3 300

OL LOGAN POKROPINSKI CROWN POINT  6-4 265

OL ISAIAH FOWLER CHESTERTON  6-1 275

OL COOPER ZELTWANGER HARRISON  6-5 310

OL TAYTON SCHAKEL WHITELAND  6-1 242

OL TANNER PARMLEY MISHAWAKA  6-1 255

OL RYAN ELDRIDGE GOSHEN  6-7 265

OL TIMOTHY DIXON EVANSVILLE NORTH  5-11 280

OL SAM MOSSONEY PENDLETON HEIGHTS  6-0 260

OL HENRY MARTELL CULVER ACADEMIES  6-3 266

OL DREW WEINZAPFEL EVANSVILLE REITZ MEMORIAL  6-2 235

OL TREVOR LAUCK RONCALLI  6-6 285

OL GABE STOCKRAHM NORTHVIEW  6-2 220

OL RYAN HILDEMAN HANOVER CENTRAL  6’3 290

OL BRODY BOLYN NORWELL 6’3 261

OL CAMERON CRAIG F. W. CONCORDIA 6’8 350

OL LUKE AMANN WEST LAFAYETTE   6’3 247

OL COLTEN CAHILL NORTH HARRISON 6’4 285

OL ELI BUCKLEY EASTERN 5-10 220

OL JOE JENDREAS WHITING 6-2 220

OL ADAM BEDOCK LAVILLE 6-3 285

OL AIDEN SCHAEFER LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC  6-2 246

OL DANE SEBERT EASTSIDE 6-3 285

OL JASON OPRISEK SOUTHWOOD   6-2 235

OL SAM MONDRUSH TRI  5-10 225

OL ZACH WURM ADAMS CENTRAL   6-3 240

OL KOLSON CLEMONS UNION CITY HS  6-5 280

OL JUSTIN SCHROEDER FRONTIER  6-2 235

COLTS TRAINING CAMP

JULY 28, THURSDAY: KIDS’ DAY; OPEN PRACTICE, NOON 

JULY 30, SATURDAY: “BACK TOGETHER SATURDAY”; OPEN PRACTICE, 7 P.M.

AUG. 2, TUESDAY: OPEN PRACTICE, NOON  

AUG. 3, WEDNESDAY: SALUTE TO SERVICE DAY; OPEN PRACTICE, NOON 

AUG. 4, THURSDAY: OPEN PRACTICE, NOON  

AUG. 7, SUNDAY: “GIVE BACK SUNDAY”; OPEN PRACTICE, NOON 

AUG. 8, MONDAY: OPEN PRACTICE, NOON 

AUG. 10, WEDNESDAY: OPEN PRACTICE, NOON 

AUG. 11, THURSDAY: OPEN PRACTICE, NOON 

AUG. 13, SATURDAY: PRESEASON GAME AT BUFFALO, 4 P.M. ET 

AUG. 16, TUESDAY: OPEN PRACTICE, NOON 

AUG. 17, WEDNESDAY: FAN APPRECIATION DAY; OPEN PRACTICE WITH DETROIT LIONS, NOON

AUG. 18, THURSDAY: “THIRSTY THURSDAY”; OPEN PRACTICE WITH DETROIT LIONS, NOON

AUG. 20, SATURDAY: PRESEASON GAME VS. DETROIT, 1 P.M.

AUG. 23, TUESDAY: OPEN PRACTICE, NOON

AUG. 24, WEDNESDAY: OPEN PRACTICE, NOON

AUG., 25, THURSDAY: FINAL OPEN PRACTICE, 10 A.M. 

2022 NFL PRESEASON NATIONAL TELEVISION SCHEDULE

(ALL TIMES EASTERN)

DATEGAMENETWORK (TIME)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 4NFL/HALL OF FAME GAME, CANTON, OH JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS VS. LAS VEGAS RAIDERSNBC (8:00 PM)
PRESEASON WEEK 1
THURSDAY, AUGUST 11NEW YORK GIANTS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTSNFLN (7:00 PM)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 12ATLANTA FALCONS AT DETROIT LIONSNFLN (6:00 PM)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 12GREEN BAY PACKERS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERSNFLN (8:30 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT CHICAGO BEARSNFLN (1:00 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT BUFFALO BILLSNFLN (4:00 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERSNFLN (7:00 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 13DALLAS COWBOYS AT DENVER BRONCOSNFLN (9:00 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 14MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERSNFLN (4:25 PM)
PRESEASON WEEK 2
THURSDAY, AUGUST 18CHICAGO BEARS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKSESPN (8:00 PM)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 19CAROLINA PANTHERS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTSNFLN (7:00 PM)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 19HOUSTON TEXANS AT LOS ANGELES RAMSNFLN (10:00 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20DENVER BRONCOS AT BUFFALO BILLSNFLN (1:00 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20WASHINGTON COMMANDERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFSNFLN (4:00 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT TENNESSEE TITANSNFLN (7:00 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20DALLAS COWBOYS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERSNFLN (10:00 PM)
SUNDAY, AUGUST 21PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT CLEVELAND BROWNSNFLN (1:00 PM)
SUNDAY, AUGUST 21CINCINNATI BENGALS AT NEW YORK GIANTSNFLN (7:00 PM)
SUNDAY, AUGUST 21BALTIMORE RAVENS AT ARIZONA CARDINALSFOX (8:00 PM)
MONDAY, AUGUST 22ATLANTA FALCONS AT NEW YORK JETSESPN (8:00 PM)
PRESEASON WEEK 3
THURSDAY, AUGUST 25GREEN BAY PACKERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFSNFLN (8:00 PM)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 25SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT HOUSTON TEXANSPRIME VIDEO (8:15 PM)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 26SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT DALLAS COWBOYSNFLN (8:00 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT ATLANTA FALCONSNFLN (3:00 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27LOS ANGELES RAMS AT CINCINNATI BENGALSNFLN (6:00 PM)
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT DENVER BRONCOSNFLN (9:00 PM)
SUNDAY, AUGUST 28NEW YORK GIANTS AT NEW YORK JETSNFLN (1:00 PM)
SUNDAY, AUGUST 28DETROIT LIONS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERSCBS (4:30 PM)

*LIVE GAMES ON NFL NETWORK WILL BE BLACKED OUT IN THE PARTICIPATING TEAMS’ OVER-THE-AIR STATION MARKETS.


TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES

PUJOLS HITS 3-RUN HR, CARDS OVERCOME ABSENCES, BEAT JAYS 6-1

TORONTO (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer and finished with three hits, passing Rogers Hornsby on St. Louis’ career list, and the Cardinals stopped Toronto’s seven-game win streak with a 6-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

Adam Wainwright pitched seven sparkling innings to help St. Louis earn a split of the two-game set while playing without unvaccinated sluggers Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. Nolan Gorman homered, and Dylan Carlson and Lars Nootbaar each hit an RBI double.

Foreign nationals who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 are not allowed to enter Canada, save for limited exceptions that require a 14-day quarantine. Unvaccinated baseball players are placed on the restricted list, where they are not paid and do not accrue major league service time.

Goldschmidt, Arenado, and catcher Austin Romine, who all went on the restricted list Tuesday, will be eligible to return when the Cardinals begin a three-game series at Washington on Friday.

Facing Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman, Pujols singled in the second and doubled in the fourth. The hits were his 2,110th and 2,111th with the Cardinals, moving him past Hornsby for fourth-most in franchise history.

METS EDGE YANKEES 3-2 IN 9TH FOR 2-GAME SUBWAY SERIES SWEEP

NEW YORK (AP) — With two first-place teams on the field, the New York Mets made this Subway Series a one-way ride.

Starling Marte singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Mets beat the crosstown Yankees 3-2 Wednesday night for a two-game sweep.

Max Scherzer was marvelous on his 38th birthday, striking out Aaron Judge three times to help the Mets take a 2-0 lead into the eighth. Gleyber Torres tied it with a two-run homer off reliever David Peterson, normally a starter.

“Every time Max had to make a pitch, he made it,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “Just so strong mentally.”

After the game, the slumping Yankees boosted their lineup by acquiring All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals in a trade for three minor league pitchers.

“It’s another great hitter,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I’ll be excited to write his name in.”

Pete Alonso homered early off Domingo Germán, and Francisco Lindor had an RBI single for the Mets before a sellout crowd of 43,693 at Citi Field.

Making his Subway Series debut, Scherzer permitted five hits over seven innings and struck out six — including Judge in two big situations. The Yankees went 0 for 15 with runners in scoring position during the series.

RODRÍGUEZ HR AGAIN, 3-RUN SHOT IN 7TH, MARINERS SWEEP TEXAS

SEATTLE (AP) — Julio Rodríguez connected again, hitting a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Seattle Mariners finished off a three-game sweep by beating the Texas Rangers 4-2 on Wednesday.

A day earlier, the 21-year-old rookie sensation hit a leadoff home run in the first inning. That was his first swing since the All-Star Game because of a sore left wrist that was initially injured in the final game before the break in Texas.

Rodríguez had a breakout performance in the All-Star Home Run Derby, where he smashed 81 shots over the wall.

This home run was his 18th of the season and came with one out against starter Jon Gray (7-5). Gray had allowed just one run on four hits to that point, but the 416-foot drive into the left-field bullpen erased Seattle’s 2-1 deficit.

The dramatic moment came after Rodriguez switched bats, unhappy with the performance the other one had provided.

“That’s Julio Rodriguez,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “That’s why it’s a fun game. He plays like a kid and he’s fun to be around every day.”

For the player they call “J-Rod,” no moment seems too big.

“I honestly love it, because at those moments I feel like everybody is on their feet, everybody is watching, and I just love those moments,” Rodriguez said. “I feel like if you’re not ready to perform in those moments, you’re not going to be having the best fun playing this game.”

NAYLOR HOMER IN 9TH SENDS GUARDIANS PAST STUMBLING RED SOX

BOSTON (AP) — Josh Naylor hit a solo home run in the ninth inning and the Cleveland Guardians took advantage of three errors by Boston first baseman Franchy Cordero to beat the Red Sox 7-6 Wednesday night.

“I live for those opportunities,” Naylor said. “I worked on those as a kid with my dad and my brothers. So, in their eyes, I enjoy them and I just try to make the best out of them.”

Bobby Dalbec hit two homers and drove in five runs for the Red Sox, who have lost seven of eight and 15 of 19.

Naylor connected for his 14th homer with one out off Tanner Houck (5-4).

“I think you got to be good, but I think you got to want to be up in that situation. I do think he relishes that,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “When he stays that way, he becomes so dangerous. He’s a really good hitter.”

Enyel De Los Santos (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Emmanuel Clase worked a scoreless ninth for this 21st save.

Cleveland made it 6-all in the eighth when Nolan Jones singled and advanced to second on a wild throw by Cordero. Myles Straw doubled home the tying run.

Two of Cordero’s errors came on throws. He also was involved in a strange play in the fourth when he hit a double that resulted in a pair of Cleveland errors.

RAYS BEAT ORIOLES 6-4 IN 10 INNINGS TO END 4-GAME SKID

BALTIMORE (AP) — Randy Arozarena hit a two-run double off All-Star reliever Jorge López in the 10th inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays recovered from another late lapse to beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-4 Wednesday night and end a four-game losing streak.

Baltimore’s Jorge Mateo sent the game into extra innings with a one-out solo shot in the ninth off Colin Poche (3-1). One night earlier, Poche entered in the eighth inning with a one-run lead and yielded a two-run homer.

“I didn’t even think twice about putting him in the ballgame,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.

The result, unfortunately for the Rays, was strikingly similar.

“You feel for Colin a little bit,” Cash said. “I saw on the highlights that the ball was up where he wants it. Mateo just did a good job of getting to it and knocking it out of the park.”

This time, however, Tampa Bay rebounded from Poche’s mistake.

An infield hit and a walk loaded the bases for Arozarena, who ripped a pitch from López (4-6) to the base of the right-field wall.

“Really impressive by Randy,” Cash said. “He plays well in this ballpark and picked us up.”

Pete Fairbanks got three straight outs in the bottom half for his first save.

Ji-Man Choi and Luke Raley homered for the Rays, who totaled just nine runs during their four-game skid. Tampa Bay is 43-11 when scoring at least four runs and 10-34 when held to three runs or fewer.

CASTILLO STAYS ON A ROLL, KS EIGHT AS REDS BEAT MARLINS 5-3

CINCINNATI (AP) — Luis Castillo pitched seven effective innings in likely his final start with Cincinnati, leading the Reds to a 5-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.

Castillo is one of the top players on the market ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline. The Reds are last in the NL Central, and the talented right-hander could help push a contender over the top.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to be around Luis,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He is a Cincinnati Red. That’s how I see it. I absolutely love him and so does every one else in the clubhouse. But we know it’s a business and none of us will stay together forever.”

Castillo (4-4) allowed three runs — including JJ Bleday’s first big league homer — and six hits. He also struck out eight and walked one in his first start since July 14.

“He’s the talk of this trade deadline and you see why,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Castillo gave Cincinnati fans one last moment after Jesús Sánchez’s RBI double for Miami left runners on second and third with none out in the seventh.

He responded with three straight strikeouts — all swinging. He walked off the mound to a standing ovation, took off his cap, and gestured to the crowd.

TELLEZ HOMERS TWICE AS BREWERS TOP TWINS 10-4 FOR SWEEP

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Rowdy Tellez hit a pair of three-run homers, Corbin Burnes won his fifth straight decision and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Minnesota Twins 10-4 on Wednesday to sweep a two-game series between Central Division leaders.

Tellez homered off a wild Chris Archer (2-5) for a 3-0 lead in the first and against Jharel Cotton for an 8-3 advantage in a five-run fourth. Tellez has 20 homers, one shy of his career high in 2019 with Toronto, and nine multihomer games, including four this season. His only game with more RBIs was on May 4, when he had eight against Cincinnati.

“Our pitching is obviously our strong suit, but we’ve made some strides,” Tellez said of the team’s recent success at the plate. “The break helped us out and I think we are in a good spot.”

Tellez’s ability to go deep changed the course of the game, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said.

“He’s a strong human being,” Counsell said. “Most of the time, all he’s got to do is put a barrel on it and it’s going to go. It was good to see him really take over the game today and probably win that one for us.”

Burnes (8-4) struck out 11 in six innings, reaching double digits for the eighth time this year and 20th in his big league career. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner gave up three runs and five hits while walking none and retiring 14 of his last 15 batters.

DÍAZ, ROCKIES RALLY OFF GRAVEMAN IN 9TH, STUN WHITE SOX 6-5

DENVER (AP) — Elias Díaz hit a two-run single off Kendall Graveman in the ninth inning, and the Colorado Rockies overcame the loss of starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela to beat the Chicago White Sox 6-5 on Wednesday.

Senzatela, making his second start since returning from a shoulder injury, led 3-2 with two outs in the seventh when Leury García hit a comebacker off the pitcher’s left shin that rolled away for a single. The 27-year-old right-hander threw some warmup pitches before walking off the mound.

Senzatela later pointed out the stitches still imprinted on his swollen shin.

“It hurts. It’s really sore right now,” said Senzatela, who was hopeful he’ll be able to make his next start. “It didn’t feel right when I landed, so I didn’t want to hang a pitch.”

After Senzatela left, Lucas Gilbreath allowed three straight runners, including Tim Anderson’s RBI single. Carlos Estevez replaced him and A.J. Pollock hit his first pitch for a two-run single as the White Sox went ahead 5-3.

José Iglesias, who drove in a pair of runs, had an RBI single in the bottom half off José Ruiz.

With closer Liam Hendricks unavailable after throwing 27 pitches Tuesday, Graveman (3-2) blew a save for the fifth time in 10 chances.

DODGERS STRIKE EARLY, AVOID SWEEP WITH 7-1 WIN OVER NATS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Washington Nationals’ hopes of pulling off one of the most improbable series sweeps in recent baseball history pretty much evaporated in the first inning.

After a two-day stumble, the Dodgers are back on track — and they’re getting healthier, too.

Hanser Alberto had a two-run double during the Dodgers’ six-run first inning, and Los Angeles emphatically avoided an improbable sweep by the majors’ worst team with a 7-1 victory Wednesday.

Gavin Lux had three hits and drove in two runs, while Mookie Betts reached base four times for the NL-leading Dodgers. Los Angeles had won 19 of 21 before curiously losing twice this week to the struggling Nationals.

“The first two games didn’t go how we wanted, but to get it rolling early (today) gave us a lot of momentum,” Lux said.

Justin Turner had an RBI single in the first inning of his return from an abdominal injury, and Los Angeles got even better injury news from the mound. Andrew Heaney threw four innings of scoreless, one-hit ball in his return from a lengthy absence for the finale of the Dodgers’ 5-2 homestand after hosting the All-Star Game.

“Getting those guys back is certainly helpful,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Although Heaney’s control wasn’t sharp after he cooled off during his teammates’ huge first inning, both the left-hander and Roberts were encouraged. Heaney had pitched just once since April 17 due to shoulder problems, but he has been outstanding when healthy in his first season with the Dodgers: He lowered his ERA to 0.47 with three walks and four strikeouts while on a strict pitch count.

REYES’ 2-OUT, 2-RUN DOUBLE IN 9TH RALLIES TIGERS OVER PADRES

DETROIT (AP) — Victor Reyes hit a two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning to rally the Detroit Tigers over the San Diego Padres 4-3 on Wednesday.

The Padres led 3-2 going into the ninth and brought on closer Taylor Rogers (1-5), who gave up a one-run lead in the ninth on Tuesday night in a game San Diego eventually won in the 10th.

“This is a tough game, especially for a closer,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s been one pitch away on each of the last two nights and it hasn’t worked out.”

This time, Jeimer Canderlario led off with a double before Rogers retired the next two batters. Jonathan Schoop followed with a dribbler down the third-base line for a single that put runners at the corners.

“In the first half of the season, that ball probably rolls foul and Jonathan gets rung up on a borderline third strike,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Winning this series, and even coming back in the ninth inning before losing yesterday — that’s a lot more like the team we were last season.”

Reyes then hit a drive over the head of right fielder Nomar Mazara to win it. Mazara got close to the wall chasing the ball and let the carom bounce past him, and both runners easily scored.

“It’s amazing,” Reyes said of his first walk-off hit. “You don’t usually get a situation where you can change a series with one swing, but that’s what happened today.”

YANKEES GET OF BENINTENDI FROM ROYALS FOR 3 MINOR LEAGUERS

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees acquired All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals for three minor league pitchers on Wednesday night in what could be the first in a flurry of moves ahead of next week’s trade deadline.

The AL East leaders sent right-handers Chandler Champlain and Beck Way to the Royals along with left-hander T.J. Sikkema.

A 28-year-old left-handed hitter, Benintendi was among 10 Royals who missed a four-game series at Toronto from July 14-17 because he was not vaccinated. Benintendi lost $186,813 of the $8.5 million salary he won in an arbitration case against the Royals.

New York believes he is amenable to getting vaccinated. No Yankees missed earlier trips to Toronto this season, and the Yankees have a three-game series there from Sept. 26-28.

Benintendi is hitting .320 with three homers, 39 RBIs and a .788 OPS. He won a Gold Glove in left field last year, and he hasn’t made an error this season, earning his first All-Star selection.

Benintendi, who is eligible for free agency after this season, gives the Yankees another outfield option alongside Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks.

Giancarlo Stanton, who has played 38 games in the outfield. is expected to miss at least two-to-three weeks after going on the injured list this week with left Achilles tendinitis. Joey Gallo is hitting .161 with 103 strikeouts in 230 at-bats, becoming a frequent target of fan boos.

TROUT, SIDELINED WITH BACK ISSUES, SAYS ‘CAREER IS NOT OVER’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Mike Trout appreciated all the support he received Wednesday after the Los Angels’ head trainer revealed the three-time AL MVP had a “rare” spinal condition that could affect him for the rest of his career.

Even if Trout thought the whole thing was blown out of proportion.

“I think he meant that I have to stay on top of the routine I do on a daily basis to keep it from coming back,” Trout said after watching his Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 4-0 to clinch their first series win in nearly a month.

“I’m appreciative of all the prayer requests,” he added, “but my career is not over.”

The 10-time All-Star left a game against Houston on July 12 with what was first called back spasms, then went on the injured list a week later with what was called rib cage inflammation.

On Wednesday, Angels trainer Mike Forstad revealed it to be a rare spinal condition, saying it’s something Trout “has to manage not just through the rest of the season.”

“I got back and my phone was blowing up: ‘My career is over,’” Trout said, smiling at the absurdity of the overreactions he’d been seeing online. “It’s just rare for a baseball player. I just have to stay on top of it.”

Trout has been examined by Dr. Robert Watkins III, a top back specialist and the co-director of the Marina Spine Clinic in Los Angeles, and received a cortisone injection last week that has already begun to produce results.

He has a follow-up visit next week and “we’ll go from there,” he said, though he has every intention of being back this year.

“Of course,” he said. “That’s my goal.”

The Angels have had no discussions about shutting him down.

“I don’t think we’re at a point where we’re going to make that decision,” Frostad said. “He’s going to have a follow-up here once we get back and we’ll just kind of see what the doctor thinks at that point.”

Trout, the second-highest paid player in the game at $37.1 million, had been enjoying a nice bounce-back season after a calf injury limited him to just 36 games last season. He was hitting .270 with 24 homers and 51 RBIs through 79 games, a rare bright spot in what has been a dismal season for the Angels.

“He’s been a great teammate,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “He’s been the dugout, helping out his teammate — he’s obviously a good sounding board for a lot of young players. For them to have him here and know that he’s supporting them is huge, I’m sure, for some younger guys.”

REPORT: CARDINALS, MARINERS, YANKEES MOST HOTLY PURSUING CASTILLO, MONTAS

The top two starting pitchers available on the trade market are generating plenty of interest, with three clubs appearing to lead the way.

The St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, and New York Yankees are reportedly the teams most hotly pursuing Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo and Oakland Athletics righty Frankie Montas, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, and San Diego Padres have also been in the market for starting pitchers, Passan adds.

Castillo, 29, is posting a career-best 2.77 ERA with a 3.04 FIP in 78 innings over 13 starts this year. The two-time All-Star is under team control through the 2023 campaign, with another season of arbitration eligibility.

Like Castillo, Montas is also 29 and under team control for one more year beyond this season. The right-hander earned down-ballot Cy Young consideration last campaign and has been even better this year, authoring a 3.18 ERA and 3.36 FIP over 104 2/3 innings while making 19 starts.

Both pitchers are considered the top starters available ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, topping a market that also potentially includes Texas Rangers lefty Martin Perez, Boston Red Sox righty Nathan Eovaldi, and Castillo’s teammate Tyler Mahle.

Yankees starters rank sixth in the majors, according to FanGraphs WAR, collectively owning a 3.31 ERA and 3.68 FIP buoyed by ace Gerrit Cole and breakout star Nestor Cortes Jr.

The Mariners and Cardinals, however, have a more dire need for rotation help, ranking 21st and 27th, respectively, while battling for wild-card spots.

St. Louis, in particular, is dealing with a beleaguered starting staff, with Jack Flaherty, Dakota Hudson, and most recently Steven Matz hitting the injured list. The club currently owns a 4.09 ERA and 4.34 FIP.

The Cardinals have also recently been considered a potential front-runner for Washington Nationals superstar Juan Soto.

Meanwhile, Seattle’s rotation woes have somewhat abated, with the club’s starters posting the sixth-best ERA in the majors in July. Rookie star George Kirby has led the way, authoring a sterling 1.65 ERA and 1.59 FIP over three starts.

WAITING GAME: WATSON, BROWNS OPEN CAMP AS NFL RULING LOOMS

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Deshaun Watson’s first practice of training camp with the Browns was unusual: indoors, helmetless and brief. He did take snaps with the starters.

It’s unclear if it will stay that way.

Cleveland’s controversial quarterback practiced Wednesday as the Browns began preparing for the upcoming season still not knowing if Watson will be suspended by the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy.

Watson has been accused by two dozen massage therapists in Texas of sexual misconduct, and the three-time Pro Bowler faces possible punishment from league disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson, who has been weighing his case for weeks.

There had been an expectation that Robinson, a retired judge who was jointly appointed by the league and NFL Players Association to handle player penalties, would render her decision before camp, but that didn’t happen.

The 26-year-old Watson did not speak to the media on Day 1, when the Browns were forced to practice inside their field house because of rain.

Amid the uncertainty surrounding Watson’s future, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said the team has a plan in place for its quarterbacks and is ready to adapt depending on the length of any ban.

Stefanski reiterated that veteran backup Jacoby Brissett will be Cleveland’s starting QB if Watson is suspended. For now, all four quarterbacks — Watson, Brissett, Josh Rosen and Josh Dobbs — will get work.

“Guys will rotate in there like we always do,” he said. “If you saw in spring, we rotated Deshaun and Jacoby as well, so that really doesn’t change. The truth is we have to get all of those guys ready to play.”

Stefanski conceded a suspension will force the Browns to adapt.

“We have a plan and we’ll see what information becomes available, but certainly more information may adjust what we’re doing,” he said.

While Browns fans may be anxious for a decision and frustrated it’s taking so long, Stefanski said dealing with unpredictability is part of the job.

“We just deal with it. That’s kind of our mentality,” he said. “We’re going to deal with July 27th and then we’ll get to tomorrow and we’ll deal with tomorrow. That’s kind of how we operate.”

As Robinson’s decision looms, the Browns, who are coming off a disappointing 8-9 season, are preparing for a 17-game stretch that will be altered dramatically if Watson can’t play.

All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett said expectations — for himself and the Browns — will stay intact whether Watson is eligible or not.

“It doesn’t change regardless how that situation works itself out, and we’re going to hold ourselves to a higher standard no matter what happens,” said Garrett, who set a team record with 16 sacks last season. “Our defense is going to do what we do. Last time I heard, they can’t win if they don’t score points.”

Even if he’s suspended, Watson will be allowed to practice with the Browns, and Garrett said his presence should allow the team to build better chemistry than it had a year ago when close losses and receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s messy release played a part in the team not being united.

“We move as if he will be or won’t be (on the field),” Garrett said ahead of practice. “You don’t really keep it in your mind like that. I mean he’s on the field with us right now. He will be on the field with us this season training and working out.

“He’s going to be in the weight room and he’s going to be interacting with us. He’s going to be with us for all intents and purposes.”

The Browns have dealt with uncertainty surrounding Watson almost since trading for him and signing him to a $230 million contract in March.

Second-year cornerback Greg Newsome II said Watson hasn’t let his situation become a distraction or affect his new teammates.

“I feel like when we get in the building, he doesn’t carry himself like that anyway,” Newsome said. “When he gets in this building, he’s worried about football and football only, so we’re going to worry about football and football only.

“We’ll let legal stuff pan out the way it’s supposed to pan out. We’ve kind of just got to focus on us getting ready for the season. Obviously, we hope D-Wat’s there Week 1, but if he’s not, we’ve got guys that are going to be able to step in and play right away.”

NOTES: Stefanski remains confident that starting RT Jack Conklin, still recovering from knee surgery in December, will be activated during camp. “He’s doing a really nice job. I want to highlight Jack,” Stefanski said. “He lived here all spring, all summer. He may have had a cot set up somewhere in the building and has been working so hard. I notice it. His teammates notice it. He’s progressing.” … Stefanski also believes Pro Bowl CB Denzel Ward (foot) will be back sooner rather than later.

BURROW TO MISS PART OF BENGALS’ CAMP AFTER APPENDECTOMY

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has had a successful appendectomy, but there is no timetable for his return to the field, coach Zac Taylor said Wednesday.

Taylor said he didn’t expect the star quarterback to fall behind in practice. Burrow had surgery Tuesday and Taylor expected Burrow to be released from the hospital Wednesday, which happened to be the first official day of workouts for the Bengals.

“The good news is he has two years in (the system),” Taylor said. “He knows it. He still has his iPad. He won’t be behind the eight ball.”

Backups Brandon Allen and Jake Browning will take the snaps until Burrow’s return, likely in a couple of weeks.

The Bengals are coming off their first AFC championship and Super Bowl appearance in 33 seasons. Burrow completed 70.4% of his passes last season for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns.

On Monday, Bengals owner Mike Brown acknowledged the team was already restructuring finances so they can meet Burrow’s salary demands in the next contract. He is eligible to negotiate after this season.

NOTES: Taylor said G Alex Cappa and HB Samaje Perine were removed from the physically unable to perform list and will be eased back into action.

RUSSELL WILSON USHERS IN NEW BRONCOS ERA, IN A HURRY TO WIN

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Hurry! Hurry!

Russell Wilson is reprising Peyton Manning’s signature demand in Denver.

“We’ve got a championship-caliber football team,” the Broncos’ new quarterback declared Wednesday after what he termed a “ great first day ” at training camp with his new teammates, coaches and playbook.

“Now it’s time to just show up and prove it, go out and do it.”

Wilson isn’t interested in patiently engineering a turnaround for a franchise that hasn’t reached the playoffs since Manning recited his final “Hurry! Hurry” call in Super Bowl 50 more than six years ago.

Echoing high expectations expressed by safety Justin Simmons and receiver Courtland Sutton a day earlier, Wilson insisted the Broncos are ready to compete for a Lombardi Trophy.

He cited the team’s mixture of youth and experience, speed and skill. And he had particular praise for the Broncos’ work ethic after so many of his teammates gave up their last vestiges of summer vacation to gather with him at his estate last week in San Diego to refine routes ahead of training camp.

“Jerry Jeudy was in our QB meeting for an hour just for fun, just to listen and study and understand it all,” Wilson added. “So, it’s a credit to him and his work ethic. When your best players put that kind of work it, that just raises everybody else.”

The Broncos haven’t had a winning record since 2016. And general manager George Paton said Tuesday that he welcomes the buzz that surrounds his team following the hiring of rookie coach Nathaniel Hackett, the electrifying acquisition of Wilson for a package of picks and players — and the pending $4.65 billion purchase of the franchise by Walmart heir Rob Walton.

“We know expectations are higher than they’ve ever been here. We’re not blind to that. We embrace expectations,” Paton said. “But we have a long way to go.

“We haven’t won here in five, six years. We won seven games last year. We’re 0-0 now. The work starts now, a lot of work to be done. I know we’re going to embrace the process, and I look forward to the journey with Coach Hackett, with this team, and everyone involved.”

As far as Wilson is concerned, he sees no reason why that trek can’t reach State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, where Super Bowl 57 will be held in February.

While Paton won’t go that far just yet, he touted the team’s core and trajectory.

“Anytime you get a franchise quarterback, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, like Russell Wilson, it’s going to accelerate anything that you’re doing,” Paton said. “It wouldn’t have done any good to bring Russell in here if we didn’t have a foundation in place.”

One thing Wilson apparently isn’t in a hurry to do is sign a contract extension. He has two years left on his current deal that pays him $19 million this upcoming season and $22 million next year. Wilson’s new deal is expected to top $250 million over five years, but Paton demurred when asked for a timeline.

“We all want Russell here a long time,” Paton said. “Out of respect for his team and our team, we’re going to keep it in-house any discussions we may or may not have … at the right time, we’ll get a deal done.”

Last week, Kyler Murray agreed to a deal with the Cardinals that adds five new years and up to $230.5 million in new money, and Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson appears in line for a mega-deal.

“I don’t really worry about those guys and what they’re doing. It’s awesome for them,” Wilson said. “But it has nothing really to do with me. I’m excited to be here, I know that. I know I want to be here for a long, long time, hopefully the rest of my career.”

Notes: The Broncos signed T Cam Fleming after T Tom Compton needed a back operation that landed him on the PUP list Wednesday. Fleming played in five games for Denver last season. The Broncos also waived OLB Kadofi Wright.

JETS SWITCH MEKHI BECTON TO RIGHT TACKLE FROM LEFT SIDE

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Mekhi Becton and his pancake blocks are being flipped to the right side of the New York Jets’ offensive line.

Coach Robert Saleh announced Wednesday after the team’s first training camp practice that Becton will be the starting right tackle this season. The 2020 first-round draft pick entered his first two NFL seasons as the starter on the left side.

George Fant, who took over at left tackle when Becton was hurt in the season opener last year, will remain at that spot.

“It don’t really matter to me,” a noticeably slimmed-down Becton said. “I’ve just got to change my technique up. As long as I’m on the field, it don’t really matter to me. I just know I’ve got to do it different. Different things on the right side than I’ve got to do on the left, so it’s a work in progress.”

Becton injured his right knee in Week 1 at Carolina last year and missed the rest of the season. Fant played very well in his place.

“We made a decision that was best for the team,” Saleh said. ”George had a fantastic year last year at left tackle. Mekhi, he’s a gifted young man who can do both. That doesn’t mean that Mekhi’s left tackle days are over. But right now, he’s young enough … to make that transition.”

Becton was taken with the No. 11 pick out of Louisville two years ago and was viewed as a long-term building block on the Jets’ offensive line at left tackle as the guy protecting the quarterback’s blind side. He had a solid rookie season, but struggled with a foot injury last offseason and then was trying to get comfortable in a new offensive system before the knee injury.

“I’m just playing,” Becton said. “I’m just blessed to be on the field again, honestly.”

His weight issues have also been a troubling topic of conversation. The 6-foot-7 Becton is listed at 363 pounds, but he ballooned to around 400 last year, according to an ESPN report. He remained in Texas working out with trainers while missing the voluntary practices this offseason to remain with his girlfriend, who had the couple’s first child.

When Becton attended mandatory minicamp last month, he said he would make critics and doubters “eat their words.” Compared to how he looked then, Becton has clearly dropped several pounds.

“I’m not going to get too much into the weight, but he got himself into football shape,” Saleh said. “Really, he’s a gifted athlete, he’s a gifted man. And I’m just really excited about the direction he’s going.”

There had been some talk during the offseason that Becton and Fant would compete at left tackle through training camp, with the loser sliding over to the right side.

But Saleh and his staff decided against having them going back and forth, instead settling now on the spots. Saleh said Fant “feels much more comfortable on the left side and performed much better on the left side.”

Fant will pair with veteran guard Laken Tomlinson, a free-agent signing after a Pro Bowl season in San Francisco, on one side of line. That means second-year guard Alijah Vera-Tucker will also be in a new spot this year, playing right guard next to Becton.

“Personally, I’m excited about that right side,” Saleh said. “You’ve got a couple of potential All-Pros, in my opinion.”

NOTES: Fant was activated from the physically unable to perform list before practice and participated Wednesday. He had offseason knee surgery. … G Dru Samia was placed on the reserve/PUP list after he was waived yesterday with a failed physical. He doesn’t count against the 90-man roster limit. … The Jets signed DB Luq Barcoo and released S Jovante Moffatt. Barcoo was undrafted in 2020 out of San Diego State. He was most recently with the Chiefs, who released him last month. He has also spent time with the Jaguars, Cardinals and 49ers.

TOM BRADY IS BACK, BUT HE’S HARDLY THE ONLY STORY FOR BUCS

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady is back for a 23rd season, his third with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But that’s hardly the only major storyline for the defending NFC South champions as they begin training camp.

Todd Bowles is starting his second stint as a NFL head coach and the Bucs are stockpiling high-profile offensive talent to help Brady pursue an eighth Super Bowl title — as evidenced by the signing Wednesday of seven-time Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones.

Brady, who turns 45 soon, led the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns last season and cited “unfinished business” as one of the reasons he decided to end the brief retirement he announced in February.

The Bucs did have another retirement to contend with: tight end Rob Gronkowski, who announced he was stepping away — again — in June. They signed veteran Kyle Rudolph as his replacement.

“We’ve got to replace Gronk’s catches. We’ve got an extra weapon, especially in the red zone and out in the field, and we’re going to put him to use,” Bowles said of Jones. “It gives us a chance to be more creative in some of the things we do. We’re happy to have him.”

Jones played 10 seasons for the NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons before injuries sidelined him for seven games two seasons ago and contributed to the worst statistics of his career with the Tennessee Titans last season (31 receptions for 434 yards and one touchdown in 10 games).

The Titans then released the 33-year-old receiver, who has has 879 catches for 13,330 yards and 61 touchdowns over 11 seasons.

“I’m looking forward. I’m not looking backward,” Jones said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to be a part of something special. … Just looking forward to getting to work.”

The Bucs topped Jones’ wish list for potential destinations: A chance to play with Brady and pursue a Super Bowl ring simply was too good to pass up.

“It’s a surreal moment. It’s amazing. I’m ready to go,” Jones said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about accountability. I have to be accountable for him, the team and everybody.”

Jones is now part of an already dynamic group of playmakers, including receivers Mike Evans, Russell Gage and Chris Godwin, who’s recovering from surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

“When all is said and done, I’ve still got to come to work. I still have to put the work in,” Jones said. “You can see Julio is with the Bucs, and we’ve got Mike (Evans), we’ve got Tom (Brady), but we’ve all got to put the work in. Nobody is going to give us anything.”

Bowles is the one who’ll be responsible for a cohesive team. He succeeds Bruce Arians, who announced his retirement in March shortly after Brady ended his six-week retirement.

But Bowles has been a part of the Bucs since 2019, when he became defensive coordinator. Prior to that, he went 24-40 over four seasons as coach of the New York Jets from 2015 to 2018.

The 58-year-old who played eight seasons in the NFL joked Wednesday that “we might be here for 24 hours” if he tried to detail the difference between taking over the Bucs now as opposed to the Jets seven years ago.

“When you’re a first-time head coach, no matter what they tell you, there are some things that are going to happen that you’re going to have to deal with that you’re not sure about making decisions that you have to make them on,” Bowles said after practice.

“Having seen everything, understanding my strengths, my weaknesses, understanding everyone around me — it’s different because I’ve been here for three years,” Bowles added. “I didn’t have to build a staff and get acclimated to the building or anything else like that. So that part, from a camaraderie standpoint, that’s been great. It really feels like it hasn’t changed for me.”

AND THEY’RE OFF! STEELERS QB DERBY BEGINS IN EARNEST

LATROBE, Pa. (AP) — Mike Tomlin figures there’s already enough unspoken pressure on Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and Kenny Pickett. He sees no need to add to it. At least not yet.

It’s why the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers coach is in no rush to announce a starting quarterback. Or spend the next six weeks giving daily updates on who might be in the lead to replace the retired Ben Roethlisberger.

Tomlin knows the situation will not sort itself out on Twitter or the internet or sports talk radio or debate shows but the practice field. It’s a process Tomlin admits is equal parts scary and exciting, not just for him but the three players vying for the enviable yet daunting right to take over for a two-time Super Bowl winner likely on his way to the Hall of Fame.

It’s a lot to ask, which is why Tomlin isn’t in a rush. He wants Trubisky, Rudolph and Pickett to have the freedom to be themselves. So he’s not going to overreact to every throw, no matter how good or bad it might be.

“I think it’s important from a leadership perspective to not overmanage it, to not be too impulsive,” he said.

So he’s not going to be. While there seemed to be a very definitive pecking order during Wednesday’s first practice — Trubisky working with the starters, Rudolph with the backups and Pickett with the third string during a 90-minute workout at St. Vincent College in helmets and shorts — Tomlin just laughed when jokingly asked afterward if he’s ready to announce a starter.

“I’m not,” he said with a smile. “But ask me tomorrow.”

While Tomlin can laugh about the situation, it’s not quite the same for Trubisky, Rudolph or Pickett. All three arrived at training camp in different stages of their career.

For Trubisky, Pittsburgh offers a chance to hit reset five years after Chicago traded up to take him with the second overall pick in the 2017 draft. For Rudolph, the next month or so represents an opportunity to prove he can start — if not in Pittsburgh, then elsewhere. Pickett meanwhile, is trying to play the role of dutiful rookie while simultaneously dealing with the outsized expectations that are part of the deal when you’re a quarterback taken in the first round.

The first day was a mixed bag of sorts. Trubisky missed his first three passes in 11-on-11 but recovered later on. Rudolph started crisply before trailing off. The final pass of Pickett’s first training camp practice as a professional ended with an interception that floated into the hands of rookie undrafted free agent cornerback Carlins Platel, who celebrated by tossing the ball in the air like a clay pigeon and pretending to shoot it down.

Welcome to the NFL kid.

The way Trubisky figures it, every snap is part of the growth process, regardless of how that snap turns out.

“You’ve got to go out there and test throws, you’ve got to let guys make plays,” Trubisky said. “You have to go out there and not worry about every single throw. That’s part of the territory when it comes to quarterback, you’re not holding your head on every single throw anyways. so you’ve got to let it go, go out there and play.”

Trubisky has the battle scars to prove it. Five years ago, he was where Pickett is now, a first-year quarterback saddled with returning a marquee franchise prominence. Things never really clicked in Chicago. They might in Pittsburgh, though there’s just as good a chance that Trubisky is merely a placeholder until Pickett is deemed ready to take over.

All of which leaves Rudolph in an unenviable spot. The longest-tenured quarterback on the team has a history with offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Yet the team also brought in two high-profile players in the offseason rather than just turn the offense over to him. He’s in the final year of his contract, which also makes his roster spot extremely tenuous. And Rudolph knows it.

“I think you’re always trying to cancel out the outside noise, whether that’s from a coach, that’s from the media or that’s from fans,” Rudolph said. “So I’m going like, I’m going to go out and treat every rep like it’s my last.”

At some point later this summer, it very well may be. At least in Pittsburgh. Yet Rudolph is doing what he can to avoid playing the numbers game in his head. Months of idle chatter are over. One of the NFL’s most intriguing quarterback battles has begun.

“I know all I need is a chance to compete,” Rudolph said. “And that’s what I got to get today, tomorrow and the rest of camp and make the most of it.”

NOTES: Pro Bowl WR Diontae Johnson did not participate in the team portion of practice Wednesday as he tries to work out a new contract. Johnson, who is in the final year of his rookie deal, said wants to remain with the Steelers but added “that’s up to them.” … DE Larry Ogunjobi was limited as he recovers from foot surgery.

TRIO OF KEY RAIDERS ARRIVE AT CAMP WITH TEAM-FIRST MENTALITY

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — As chants of “R-A-I-D-E-R-S!” rang out from five tents filled with fans during Wednesday’s practice at the team’s facility, the sight of three key Las Vegas players making plays ignited further roars of applause.

Tight end Darren Waller hauled in a pass on an out pattern at one end of the field. At the other, running back Josh Jacobs juked linebacker Denzel Perryman during a short pass route. Shortly later, Perryman forced a fumble with a huge hit on the goal line.

And while they’re leaders in their respective units — and the trio comes with no guarantees for their futures with the team — all three had similar mindsets during the first week of camp.

“I’m focused on playing right now,” said Waller, who ranks second among tight ends since 2019 with 252 receptions and 3,006 yards receiving. “My agent handles that. Whatever is going on there is whatever’s going on there. But whatever the outcome is of that, I’m here and I’m playing.”

One of the top players in the NFL at his position, Waller’s $7.5 million annual average value ranks 17th in salary among all tight ends.

And while he’s set to make $6.8 million this season with no guaranteed money left on his deal, others have been locked up.

Defensive end Maxx Crosby signed a $94 million extension in March, quarterback Derek Carr got an extension worth $121 million in April, and receiver Hunter Renfrow received a $32 million extension in June.

Long before that, the Raiders kept two of the top special teams players in the league by extending punter A.J. Cole and kicker Daniel Carlson in December.

Yet Waller, Perryman and Jacobs have been at every practice, preparing for the preseason opener against Jacksonville on Aug. 4 in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.

“I think the fact that we had everyone show up and everybody just going about their work … speaks a lot to the belief this team has for each other,” Cole said after Wednesday’s practice. “Guys on winning teams get paid, it sort of just works itself out. Being around these guys for a couple years, I really just have so much respect and love for the character they have and the hard work. It just speaks a lot to the buy-in we have, from top to bottom.”

Perryman is entering the final year of his contract and is set to make a base salary of $1.1 million after finishing sixth in the league with a franchise-high 154 tackles last season.

“My agent Ron Butler is handling that — I just want to play football,” said Perryman, whose career season earned him his first Pro Bowl selection in 2021.

With Jacobs, who won a national championship with Alabama in 2017 and was drafted 24th overall in 2019, it was a matter of the team announcing it wasn’t exercising a fifth-year option. Every NFL draft choice signs a four-year contract, with each first-round selection’s contract including a team option for a fifth season.

Jacobs isn’t taking it personal.

“I really don’t too much think about it, honestly,” said Jacobs, whose 3,087 yards rushing leads all rushers drafted since 2019. “I’m a firm believer in the work that you put in is going to pay off for itself. And I had to be here either way. And this is where I want to be. So, I didn’t have no problem with it. (It) gave me more of a reason to come in every day, jell with the guys, and work, so that’s how I looked at it.”

Waller said while he remains focused on his time in Las Vegas, “whether it’s 10 years or whatever,” and he continues to do his job on the field while his agent negotiates with the team, he acknowledged it can be tedious when trying to compartmentalize with an attempt to focus solely on football.

“As a human being, you want to think about things like that,” Waller said. “I feel like adopting the mindset of when I’m here, what can I give to the team? As opposed to what I can get. … We’re humans and we can get distracted, but I feel like taking that approach has definitely helped me to focus on just what I can do within the day here.”

SHANAHAN, HOLMGREN, KRAFT AMONG HALL OF FAME FINALISTS

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Super Bowl-winning coaches Mike Shanahan and Mike Holmgren are among 24 seniors, coaches and contributors selected as finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023.

Shanahan, who led the Denver Broncos to consecutive Super Bowl titles, and Holmgren, who won with the Green Bay Packers, are joined by 10 other coaches/contributors, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and former Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell.

The list of 12 former players includes four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Ken Anderson and five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Sterling Sharpe.

The 12-person Seniors Committee will meet Aug. 16, and each committee member will present one finalist. The committee’s final vote will send three Seniors to the full 49-person Selection Committee for consideration at its annual meeting in early 2023. Each of those three could be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame at that meeting.

Expansion of the Seniors pool to three for possible election to the Hall was approved earlier this year for the Classes of 2023, 2024 and 2025.

The remaining list of players: linebackers Randy Gradishar, Maxie Baughan, Tommy Nobis and Chuck Howley; offensive linemen Bob Kuechenberg; two-way player Cecil Isbell; defensive linemen Joe Klecko and cornerbacks Eddie Meador, Ken Riley and Everson Walls.

The remaining list of coaches/contributors: television executive and producer Roone Arledge; coach Don Coryell; front-office executive Frank “Bucko” Kilroy; coach Buddy Parker; coach Dan Reeves; Steelers vice president Art Rooney Jr.; coach Clark Shaughnessy; and long-time executive John Wooten.

2022 LOS ANGELES RAMS PREVIEW: ROSTER MOVES, DEPTH CHART, SCHEDULE, STORYLINES AND MORE

The Rams went all-in in 2021 and cashed in with a Lombardi Trophy for their gamble. The cost of a ring was hefty, as many contributors from both sides of the ball either left via free agency or retired. Regression looms this season, but don’t count out Sean McVay and the talent left behind.

A Rams Repeat Relies on Filling the Gaps

The Rams were able to earn a victory in Super Bowl LVI in no small part to a stacked roster accumulated over the course of 2021, starting with trading away two first-round picks, a third-rounder and Jared Goff to bring in Matthew Stafford as their franchise quarterback. Von Miller arrived midseason for second- and third-round picks, and L.A. also was able to snatch up Odell Beckham and Sony Michel.

READ MORE: https://www.rotowire.com/football/article/2022-los-angeles-rams-preview-roster-moves-depth-chart-schedule-storylines-and-more-64813

2022 ATLANTA FALCONS PREVIEW: ROSTER MOVES, DEPTH CHART, SCHEDULE, STORYLINES AND MORE

The Falcons haven’t made the playoffs since 2017, and they traded Matt Ryan this offseason, so it appears the team is heading toward a rebuild. However, the front office replenished the skill positions with young, talented players, which may make Atlanta an interesting team to follow in 2022.

Life in Atlanta after Matt Ryan

The Falcons drafted Matt Ryan with the No. 3 overall pick in 2008, and he guided them to six playoff appearances, including a run to the Super Bowl in February 2017, during his 14 years with the organization. However, after the team dabbled in the Deshaun Watson talks this offseason, Ryan made a formal trade request.

READ MORE: https://www.rotowire.com/football/article/2022-atlanta-falcons-preview-roster-moves-depth-chart-schedule-storylines-and-more-64737

2023 TOP-RANKED SAFETY CALEB DOWNS COMMITS TO ALABAMA

Four-star safety Caleb Downs committed to Alabama’s 2023 class Wednesday.

Downs is the top-ranked safety and No. 16 overall recruit on ESPN 300.

The Hoschton, Georgia, native chose Alabama over several schools, including Ohio State, Georgia, and Notre Dame.

Downs’ commitment gives the Crimson Tide the top three recruits from Georgia in 2023, along with four-star running back Justice Haynes and four-star quarterback Dylan Lonergan.

Downs is the second blue-chip recruit to join Alabama in as many days. The Crimson Tide also bolstered their secondary Tuesday, adding highly touted cornerback Jaylen Mbakwe to their Class of 2024.

OLD-GUY QUARTERBACKS COULD GIVE BIG TEN DIFFERENT LOOK

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The story of Sean Clifford and Tanner Morgan’s began on a seventh-grade football field.

Their final scheduled matchup is Oct. 22 when Minnesota visits Penn State.

In between, the two quarterbacks followed one another’s journeys through high school and the recruiting process, the natural ups and downs of college football and the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they’re embarking on one final destination together — a sixth and final college season.

“To think that both of us, with our old asses, are still playing on the biggest stages, it’s very cool because that friendship is so deep,” Clifford said Wednesday at the Big Ten media day. “We’re still playing at the highest level and now getting to play Tanner this year, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Both enter the fall with plenty of unfulfilled goals.

Clifford begins his fourth season as Penn State’s starter at age 24, as the new face of a national movement to help college football players and as the CEO of his own NIL company. But he hasn’t led the Nittany Lions to the East Division crown or played in the College Football Playoff — yet.

Morgan, slightly younger at age 23, has two nine-win seasons on his resume and took the Golden Gophers to three of the school’s 22 bowl bids. Morgan and three other super seniors — the self-described Encore Four — are chasing their first West Division crown and coach P.J. Fleck believes Morgan’s experience can help his team finally pull it off.

“Tanner Morgan has been around the league, it seems like forever,” Fleck said. “He’s got his bachelor’s degree, his master’s degree, and now he’s kind of a non-major student, just taking classes and going to lead our football team. He got married here a few weeks ago.”

Morgan’s not alone in the marriage department — at Minnesota or around the league.

But in a sport that has changed dramatically since Clifford and Morgan first arrived on campus as redshirt freshmen in 2017, the league’s quarterback carrousel appears remarkably stable.

Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell joins the six-year club and he’s getting married Saturday.

Graham Mertz, Taulia Tagovailoa and Payton Thorne return as starters at Wisconsin, Maryland and Michigan State.

Most eyes will be trained on Ohio State’s incumbent, C.J. Stroud, a Heisman Trophy finalist who threw for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdown passes and could end the league’s Heisman drought in 2022.

What Stroud remembers, though, is the 11-2 record and the inability to win a fifth straight league title. It prompted Stroud to tell reporters he didn’t accomplish anything last season, a remark his coach disputed.

“I think that says a lot about him as a person but when you look at the two losses, I don’t think C.J. Stroud was the problem,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said. “But it says a lot about him and I think his best football is ahead of him.”

Even the quarterback competitions look familiar.

At Michigan, Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy again are vying for the starting job. The same is true with Spencer Petras and Alex Padilla at Iowa and Noah Vedral and Gavin Wimsatt at Rutgers. Heck, even Art Sitkowski, the former Rutgers starter, could win re-emerge as Illinois’ starter.

While the debate rages among their coaches, one thing is clear in the Big Ten — experience matters, especially in the West Division where all four teams with nine or more wins have incumbent quarterback starters.

“His numbers the last half of the year were at a really elite level and he won a lot of big games,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said of O’Connell, the former walk-on. “He had to earn it the hard way. He was not entitled to anything, he came in knowing he had to start from the bottom and he had to work his tail off and prove beyond a reasonable doubt he could be the guy.”

O’Connell did that and more, earning second-team all-league honors in 2021.

And if he can’t get the Boilermakers to their first conference championship game, perhaps the two other, friendlier old-guy quarterbacks can write an ending for the ages, not far from where their storybook began.

“Playing in front of 110,000 (fans), I’m not going to downplay that, but when you’re in seventh grade those are the best days of playing ball because realistically you don’t have a care in the world,” Clifford said. “You’re just out there you’re getting orange slices at halftime, it’s the coolest thing. That’s what football is all about — having fun and being with your buddies and playing the game you love.”

PENN STATE’S CLIFFORD MUM ON COLLEGE PLAYERS ORGANIZING

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford steered away from questions at Big Ten media days about his recent conversation with the leader of a group trying to organize college football players and toward preparation for the season.

Clifford’s meeting with Jason Stahl, a former member of the faculty at the University of Minnesota and the executive director of the College Football Players Association, drew attention last week when a social media post suggested Penn State players were forming a union.

Clifford backed away from that with a Twitter post of his own. He did say he recently had “very positive and open discussions” with Penn State coach James Franklin, new AD Pat Kraft and Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren about “changing the landscape of college sports.”

Warren said Tuesday at the opening of media days the Big Ten would create a Student-Athlete Advisory and Advocacy Committee.

Stahl took to social media to accuse Penn State and the Big Ten of trying to quell any movement by the players to organize.

Kraft said no such thing happened and said he was happy to have conversations with Clifford about trying to address concerns of athletes — from health care to financial benefits.

“I’m proud of Sean and our other kids for being honest and come and asking questions,” Kraft said.

As for Clifford, he tried his best to keep the focus on the field.

“We are five days away from camp,” the sixth-year senior said. “And, you know, that’s the main thing right now, but just to address what happened: Do I want to make change for college athletics and college athletes across the country? Absolutely.

“And I still believe I’m very blessed to be in the situation to have a commissioner that’s open to conversations. Head coach who is open to conversations, and a new athletic director that is open to conversations.”

DAY TO DAY

Ryan Day understands the expectations at Ohio State. Beat Michigan, win Big Ten titles and national championships.

Nothing else suffices.

So when the Buckeyes were shut out of all three last season for the first time in a decade, the 11-2 mark and Rose Bowl win simply wasn’t good enough for the Buckeyes or their fans. And he knew it.

“The expectation is to win them all,” Day said. “I said that in my opening press conference when I was named the head coach, and that’s just the way it is. Maybe at some places 11-2 with a Rose Bowl victory is a good year. It isn’t at Ohio State.”

HOLDING PATTERN

Rutgers linebacker Drew Singleton is hoping the NCAA will grant him an extra year of eligibility this season.

Singleton declared for the NFL draft and signed with an agent before the Scarlet Knights were a last-minute bowl addition following the opt-out of No. 23 Texas A&M. Unlike Rutgers’ other pro prospects Singleton decided to play in the 38-10 loss to Wake Forest and wound up injuring his ankle.

After going undrafted, his waiver application was denied. Coach Greg Schiano said Wednesday the school has appealed so Singleton can pursue a graduate degree.

“We’re hopeful that cooler minds prevail,” Schiano said. “We have an appeal in. I’m hopeful he will be able to come back. He wants to seek his graduate degree. I believe that — he does so many great things. He’s a kid from inner city Newark who’s overcome a lot. The guy is trying to do the right thing. I hope that we’re able to do the right thing and get him back.”

WHAT’S THE BEEF?

Penn State lost nose guard PJ Mustipher with a season-ending left knee injury in October.

Now, he’s back — perhaps playing an even bigger role for the Nittany Lions defense as he continues to add beef to an already massive 321-pound frame. And in Indianapolis, Mustipher and his coach, James Franklin, chowed down at one of Indy’s most familiar steakhouses, St. Elmo’s.

As usual, Mustipher held nothing back.

“PJ ate one of the biggest steaks I’ve ever seen in my life, biggest piles of mashed potatoes, ate the shrimp. I didn’t tell him about the cocktail sauce beforehand,” Franklin said. “Then also ordered a full separate meal of two lobster tails that are massive. And he crushed it all. He said he was kind of enjoying himself because he’s passed the conditioning test. He’ll never have to run the Penn State conditioning test again.”

Mustipher downplayed the impressive feat, saying he eats 22- or 24-ounce steaks once a week.

NO COMMENT

Michigan State coach Mel Tucker refused to take the bait when asked about last week’s comments from Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi.

Narduzzi, a former defensive coordinator for the Spartans, said on a podcast audience that the ACC champs would have beaten Michigan State badly – if Kenny Pickett had played in the Peach Bowl. Pickett opted out of the game and wound up as the only quarterback selected in the first round of the NFL draft.

Tucker, who was 11-2 in his second season in East Lansing, sidestepped the question.

“I really prefer not to get into hypotheticals,” he said, “especially games that were played in the past and decided on the field.”

COMEBACK: WARREN REBOUNDS FROM ROCKY START LEADING BIG TEN

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Warren introduced Ohio State’s Ryan Day at Big Ten media day, the final coach to take the stage at the two-day event, and the two men exchanged a hearty hug and smiles before posing for a photo.

“I want to congratulate Commissioner Warren on a great couple of months leading this conference into the future,” Day said Wednesday as he began his 15 minutes at the podium to talk about the Buckeyes.

A little less than two years since Warren was pilloried inside and out of the Big Ten for the conference’s decision to postpone the fall football season because of the pandemic, the 58-year-old is now sitting atop an expanding empire that has never been more powerful.

Earlier this month the Big Ten announced Southern California and UCLA will join the conference in 2024. In the coming weeks, Warren and the Big Ten are expected to unveil the conference’s new media rights deal that could be worth $1 billion annually.

To put it in sports terms, Warren’s comeback has been more impressive than Ohio State erasing a 14-point deficit to beat Utah in the Rose Bowl.

Given the opportunity to spike the ball at Lucas Oil Stadium this week and revel in the redemption of his reputation, Warren took a pass.

“The moment that you use any energy to distract from the energy that you need to accomplish your goal, it can have negative ramifications on it,” Warren told the AP. “So I have to stay in the moment.”

Warren’s hiring in 2019 to replace Jim Delany was a surprise inside the industry. The lawyer and former longtime executive with the Minnesota Vikings with no experience working in college sports was an unorthodox choice at a time when there was so much change on the horizon.

Then the pandemic hit and any chance Warren had to grow into the job went away. He immediately needed to shift into managing an unprecedented crisis while still getting to know the university leaders he works for and the athletic directors he works with.

On Aug. 10, 2020, the Big Ten announced it would not play football in the fall. The decision was made on majority vote by the league’s presidents and chancellors, but Warren became the target for critics. None louder than in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Buckeyes.

Infuriated fans, disgruntled parents of players and frustrated coaches and athletic directors who disagreed with the decision questioned Warren’s fitness for the job.

And some people did much worse.

Warren said he received death threats that forced him to hire security and change the way he traveled to ensure his family would be safe.

Warren said he looks back on that decision without regrets, but also concedes some of the criticism of his leadership was valid.

“I think he’s really learned that working across the board with the presidents and the chancellors and the athletic directors and faculty athletic reps, how vitally important that is in this business,” Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said.

Eventually, the conference reversed its decision in the fall of 2020 and played an abbreviated season that put Ohio State in the national championship game.

“This a tough job to start with,” said former Wisconsin coach and athletic director Barry Alvarez, who now works in an advisory role to Warren on Big Ten football. “To get through that, I don’t care who would have been there, it would have been a difficult situation. I just think Kevin’s a grinder.”

As pandemic problems receded, Warren was able to turn his attention to the business of putting his stamp on the Big Ten.

No business for a college sports conference is bigger than its media rights contract.

While the television deal was always set up to be a win for Warren, the addition of USC and UCLA from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten was a lighting strike few saw coming. One that will reshape the landscape of college sports — Warren’s legacy.

But just as Warren was not solely responsible for the 2020 postponement, adding a West Coast wing of the Big Ten was not one man’s vision and execution.

The realignment will also be a boon to Fox, already the Big Ten’s main television partner and expected to gain a greater stake in the conference in the upcoming deal.

Warren said the people he respects as leaders, from Rev. Martin Luther King to CEOs such as Richard Davis and Shelly Ibach, hold a common belief that he tries to live by.

“One, not only do they do they never take credit, but truly in their heart, they never believe that they deserve the credit. And that’s how I believe,” Warren said. “And I think the true leaders, the great leaders, actually want to take the blame. They don’t want others around them to take the blame.”

Warren said Day’s complimentary words were appreciated, but also significant.

“It shows that we’re a unified front,” Warren said. “And I’ll admit, I didn’t have that.”

“I think that the thing that I’m probably most pleased about is that I think people are starting to really understand that when the Big Ten is unified, we are a dominant, powerful force in college athletics. And we’re a powerful and dominant force in all of athletics.”

NC STATE’S LEARY, CLEMSON LEADS ALL-ACC FOOTBALL PICKS

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State quarterback Devin Leary is the preseason pick to finish as Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, while league favorite Clemson leads all schools with six players on the league’s preseason all-conference team.

The league released the team Wednesday following voting by media members at last week’s ACC media days in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Leary, a redshirt junior, ranked 10th in the Bowl Subdivision last year with 35 touchdown passes while also ranking in the top 20 nationally in passing yards per game and passing efficiency. He earned 40 of 164 votes for preseason player of the year to beat out Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman, who earned 30 votes after guiding the Demon Deacons to last year’s ACC title game.

North Carolina receiver Josh Downs led all players with 128 points in voting from the panel for the preseason all-ACC team, followed by Clemson offensive tackle Jordan McFadden (127) and Syracuse running back Sean Tucker (125).

McFadden was joined on the team by running back Will Shipley, defensive end Myles Murphy, defensive tackle Bryan Bresee, linebacker Trenton Simpson and kicker B.T. Potter.

N.C. State — which received the second-most votes for league favorite despite being in the same division with Clemson — had five players selected with Leary — center Grant Gibson, linebackers Drake Thomas and Payton Wilson, and safety Tanner Ingle.

Preseason Coastal Division favorite Miami and Boston College each had three all-ACC picks.

TATUM HAPPY WITH CELTICS’ ROSTER AMID KD RUMORS: ‘I LOVE OUR TEAM’

Jayson Tatum knows what Kevin Durant brings to the table, but he’s just fine with the Boston Celtics as currently constructed.

“I played with (Durant) during the Olympics,” Tatum told reporters Tuesday night prior to the premiere of the Showtime documentary “Point Gods,” according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “Obviously, he’s a great player, but that’s not my decision. I love our team. I love the guys that we got.”

Boston is reportedly the latest team to put its hat in the ring for Durant. The Celtics’ offer apparently included forward Jaylen Brown, who’s served as Tatum’s co-star for the past five seasons.

The duo led Boston to a pair of conference finals before reaching the championship series last season. The Celtics held a 2-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors but dropped the last three contests in The Finals, including the title-clincher at home.

Boston has since made a pair of notable moves, acquiring guard Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers and signing veteran forward Danilo Gallinari.

“I just go out there and play with my teammates,” Tatum said. “I don’t put that (general manager) hat on to make decisions.”

HARDEN, 76ERS MAKE IT OFFICIAL ON 2-YEAR, $68 MILLION DEAL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — James Harden decided to grow his beard and shear his annual salary in Philadelphia.

Harden signed a deal worth slightly over $68 million, paying him about $33 million this season with a $35 million player option for the 2023-24 season. Harden, though, will make about $14.5 million less this coming season than he could have earned under his previous deal. Harden had a $47.4 million option for this coming season that he declined last month, saying he wanted to give the 76ers flexibility to improve their roster and compete for a championship.

“This is where I want to be. This is where I want to win, and I think we have the pieces to accomplish that goal,” Harden said Wednesday. “From my first day with the 76ers organization, the team and the fans have helped me feel at home here in Philadelphia. I’m excited to build off of last season and I can’t wait to get out on the court with the guys and start this journey.”

Daryl Morey, team president of basketball operations, posted a photo on Instagram of him posing alongside Harden as the 10-time All-Star guard known as “The Beard” signed his contract.

“Now this looks like a job for we, ” Morey wrote.

Harden’s plans have been clear since Philadelphia’s season ended: He was committed to staying with the 76ers and committed to help them get better.

“Taking less money this year to sign as many players as we needed to help us contend and be the last team standing was very, very important to me,” Harden said in an interview this month with The Associated Press. “I wanted to show the organization, the Sixers fans and everybody else who supports what we’re trying to accomplish, what I’m trying to accomplish individually, that this is what I’m about.”

Harden vowed to return to for after battling a lingering hamstring injury that cut his production with the Brooklyn Nets, and later the Sixers, after he was acquired in a trade-deadline deal.

“Over the last two years we have taken major steps toward our ultimate goal of becoming champions,” said coach Doc Rivers. “James shares our drive to win a title, and he believes being a 76er gives him the best opportunity to do that. Together, we will work tirelessly to achieve our goal.”

A member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, Harden averaged 22 points this season for Brooklyn and Philadelphia, his lowest since he became a starter in the 2012-13 season. He turns 33 in August.

Harden, a three-time scoring champion, told the AP he was nonplussed about taking “less” money to return and chase a championship in Philly.

“For any other players, that’s a max contract,” he said of his lower numbers, “but it’s like, for me, I was not the same James Harden.

The 76ers lost to top-seeded Miami in the second round of the playoffs. Harden had four turnovers, four baskets and did not score in the second half in the decisive Game 6 loss. They haven’t advanced past the second round since 2001. Their last NBA championship came in 1983.

“Coming back and being the aggressor, the scorer first and then the playmaker, is something that I need for myself,” he said.

Harden has appeared in 942 games (728 starts) with Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Houston and Oklahoma City and holds averages of 24.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals.

SAUDI-FUNDED LIV GOLF ANNOUNCES 14-EVENT SCHEDULE FOR 2023

BEDMINSTER, N.J. (AP) — The Saudi-funded LIV Golf series announced a 14-tournament schedule for next year with 12 established team franchises and a chance for players to either be promoted or relegated through its series of Asian Tour events.

Greg Norman, the CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf, said Wednesday in a news release that the full schedule would be released later and would include stops across the world.

The rival league of the PGA and European tours plays its third event this week at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey, the course owned by former President Donald Trump. The four additions to the 48-man roster of players are Henrik Stenson, Paul Casey, Charles Howell III and Jason Kokrak. The European tour stripped Stenson of his Ryder Cup captaincy for signing up with LIV Golf, after pledging full support to the tour when he was selected as captain in March.

Along with the 48-man field, no-cut events worth $25 million in prize money, LIV Golf Investments has pumped $300 million into the Asian Tour for “International Series” events. While details on promotion and relegation were not announced, players could earn their way into the LIV Golf League through their performance in these Asian Tour events, while those who finish toward the bottom of LIV Golf events would be replaced.

The news release said LIV Golf League players are expected to compete in “numerous” International Series events, which would mean playing more than the 14 tournaments on the 2023 LIV Golf schedule. One appeal for players who have signed up, such as Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, was to play less.

LIV Golf said it would have 25 tournaments worldwide next year, which indicates a total of 11 events on the Asian Tour. There are four “International Series” events on the Asian Tour schedule this year. The news release said new Asian Tour stops would include the Americas and Europe. This year, the Asian Tour held an event in England a week before the LIV Golf Invitational debut outside London.

Norman said LIV Golf and the “International Series” would play for $405 million in prize money. With $25 million set aside for LIV Golf events, that would suggest International Series events would each have a $5 million purse.

The 12 four-man teams would stay the same throughout the year. Captains will be able to build their franchises to attract a fan following and sponsor interest. Howell and Casey are now on a team led by Bryson DeChambeau, and they said he reached out to them a few months ago about joining LIV Golf.

KURT BUSCH TO MISS INDY WITH CONCUSSION-LIKE SYMPTOMS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kurt Busch will miss Sunday’s NASCAR race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with concussion-like symptoms and be replaced again by Ty Gibbs in the Toyota for 23XI Racing.

The team said Wednesday that Busch has not been cleared to race for a second consecutive week. He crashed in qualifying last Saturday at Pocono Raceway and missed the next day’s race.

“Kurt’s health is of the utmost importance to the team, and we wish him all the best as he prepares for his return,” said the team owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan.

Gibbs, the 19-year-old grandson of NFL and NASCAR Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs, made his Cup debut last weekend as Busch’s replacement in the No. 45. He finished 16th.

“I’m happy to help out 23XI Racing this week at Indianapolis, but again our thoughts are with Kurt and getting him healthy,” Ty Gibbs posted on social media. “He’s a good guy, and we all want him back soon.

“I think the goals are the same as last week — just to complete the race and learn all we can. I want to thank Denny and MJ for the opportunity.”

Gibbs will also compete Saturday in the Xfinity Series race.

Busch, who turns 44 next week, is in his 22nd full season of Cup racing. He thanked Gibbs for again filling his seat and said, “I remain dedicated to focusing on my recovery and getting back on the track and will continue to work closely with NASCAR’s medical team and my own team of doctors.”

23XI said Busch has received a medical waiver from NASCAR and remains eligible for the playoffs. Busch earned his playoff spot with a victory at Kansas in May.

NASCAR shares Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend with IndyCar, and Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden is awaiting a Thursday evaluation to determine if he can race. The two-time IndyCar champion collapsed Sunday and hit his head about 90 minutes after he was cleared from the medical center at Iowa Speedway following a hard crash while leading the race.

Scott McLaughlin, a close friend of Newgarden’s and his Penske teammate, said he’s only communicated with Newgarden’s wife and father.

“Ultimately, when I found out what happened, it was a bit of a shock to the system for me and for everyone. But the main thing is just wanted him to be OK,” McLaughlin said Wednesday. “It sounds like he’s typical Josef fighting and doing his thing. I hope he just gets better soon and I’m sure we’ll see him Thursday.”

Santino Ferrucci is on standby in case Newgarden is not cleared to race. A pool of drivers, including reigning NASCAR champion Kyle Larson, indicated they’d like to fill-in for Newgarden if he can’t race.

Austin Cindric, the Cup rookie and son of Team Penske president Tim Cindric, said he never asked his father for a shot in the Indy car. Tim Cindric is also Newgarden’s strategist.

“As far as wanting to start in IndyCar, absolutely. The drivers I’ve idolized and looked up to my entire life are mostly IndyCar drivers. I come from that world and I’d love to get a taste of that some day,” Cindric said Wednesday. “I’m not going to set a timeline or prediction of that, but I can tell you right now is probably not that time. I think focusing on my Cup career is the highest of importance, but I’ve been a guy that’s always loved driving different things and not just being specialized in a certain field.

“I’d certainly love to do that one day and maybe the opportunity will come.”

FORMER CHICAGO HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL STAR GUNNED DOWN

Police in the the Chicago suburb of Maywood are investigating the shooting death of a former high school basketball star and her mother is pleading with whomever killed her daughter to surrender to police.

“Whoever did it, man up and confess,” said Margo Rainey after 22-year-old Dylanla Rainey was gunned down early Monday outside her home as she parked her car. “I will tell you to your face, I forgive you. God is going to take care of this.”

Margo Rainey had followed her daughter home to Maywood on Sunday afternoon when she saw someone open fire as Dylanla climbed from her car. Struck three times, she got out of her car before she collapsed on the ground.

“I saw her trying to climb out the window,” Margo Rainey said outside her daughters home where several people had gathered for a prayer vigil. “She was trying to get to me and I was trying to get to her.”

Rainey and her twin sister, Miyanda, led Marshall High School to the Class 2A girls basketball state championship in 2018.

The two had recently moved to Maywood with plans to expand their day care business in the area. Their mother said at a vigil that to help them run their business, Dylanla planned to return to college to earn a degree in business and the twins planned to earn a college degree in child development. .

Maywood Police Chief Elijah Willis said no arrests have been made.

Margo Rainey said she has no idea who would want to kill her daughter, adding she “didn’t do no harm to nobody.”

TOP INDIANA HEADLINES/RELEASES

COLTS REMOVE DL TYQUAN LEWIS, S RODNEY MCLEOD FROM PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM LIST

WESTFIELD, Ind. – The Colts on Wednesday removed defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis and safety Rodney McLeod from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list. Both players are now eligible to participate in the Colts’ first training camp practice of 2022 on Wednesday at Grand Park.

General manager Chris Ballard said Tuesday Lewis and McLeod were close to being cleared.

Lewis, who signed a contract extension with the Colts in March, suffered a season-ending knee injury while returning an interception against the Tennessee Titans in Week 8. The versatile defensive lineman has 8 1/2 sacks, 21 quarterback hits and 15 tackles for a loss in 41 games (12 starts) since being selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

McLeod underwent a minor knee procedure after the Colts’ offseason program ended in June. The 10-year veteran brings 139 games of experience (123 starts) with the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles to the Colts’ secondary, along with 16 interceptions, 36 pass break-ups and 11 forced fumbles.

INDIANS SHUT OUT IN TOLEDO TO SNAP THREE-GAME WINNING STREAK, 3-0

TOLEDO, Ohio – Despite out-hitting the Toledo Mud Hens 9-3, the Indianapolis Indians were shut out to halt a three-game winning streak on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Field, 3-0.

After a scoreless first inning, the Mud Hens (47-46) got to Indians right-hander Cody Bolton (L, 2-2) for two runs in the second. The first run came on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error, allowing Toledo shortstop Brendon Davis to score, and center fielder Derek Hill promptly followed with an RBI double. Hill provided insurance in the seventh with a run-producing single to center field.

Major League rehabber Matt Manning (W, 1-1) blanked the Indians (44-48) with 5 2/3 shutout innings for Toledo. Working his way back from both shoulder inflammation and biceps tendinitis, Manning struck out six and allowed five hits while walking two. After former Indian Sam Howard and left-hander Luis Castillo worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings, rehabber Wily Peralta (S,1) worked around a leadoff single from Indians third baseman Rodolfo Castro and a two-out double from center fielder Travis Swaggerty and finished the job for the Mud Hens.

The Indians bullpen, led by right-hander Noe Toribio and left-hander Eric Stout combining for 4 1/3 perfect innings, allowed just one hit and one run over their seven innings of work. With Stout’s four outs, Indians left handed relievers have combined to allow just eight runs in 48 2/3 innings since June 22.

The Indians were shut out for just the third time this season. The last time Indianapolis was shut out was in Columbus on July 14 in a 7-0 loss. Despite the lack of run production, Castro, shortstop Tucupita Marcano, and first baseman Bligh Madris all logged multi-hit games.

Indianapolis and Toledo continue the six-game series tomorrow night at 7:05 PM from Fifth Third Field. RHP Jerad Eickhoff (5-4, 4.35) will toe the rubber for the Indians, opposing Toledo RHP Cody Sedlock (1-0, 1.80).

INDIANA FEVER GAME NOTES VS. LOS ANGELES:https://indianapacers-my.sharepoint.com/personal/rstevens_feverbasketball_com/_layouts/15/onedrive.aspx?id=%2Fpersonal%2Frstevens%5Ffeverbasketball%5Fcom%2FDocuments%2FDocuments%2FRyan%20Stevens%20Documents%2FGame%20Notes%2F2022%2FIND%20vs%2E%20LA%207%5F19%5F22%2Epdf&parent=%2Fpersonal%2Frstevens%5Ffeverbasketball%5Fcom%2FDocuments%2FDocuments%2FRyan%20Stevens%20Documents%2FGame%20Notes%2F2022&ga=1

W-LEAGUE’S ELEVEN MOMENTS

(INDY ELEVEN RELEASE)

The inaugural season for the USL W League has come to an end. Across the course of the season, 47 teams across the United States competed on a platform that advanced opportunity, gender equity, and professional development and created over 750 opportunities for young women to play soccer. From first goals to an undefeated regular season, Indy Eleven players and coaches reflect on the top eleven moments in the W League team’s historic inaugural season.

  1. Launching the League. Indy Eleven’s 3-1 victory over Kings Hammer FC on May 6 was one for the history books, as it marked the USL W League’s Inaugural Match in front of a sold-out crowd of 1,571 fans at Grand Park Events Center in Westfield.

“I think it was really exciting, for one, the W League to open, and then for Indy Eleven to be the first game, having our fans be amazing and being able to showcase what Indianapolis has to offer.  Although it was our first game together so you could see people thinking, things rolling, I think it was awesome to see what we’re capable of at such an early point as a team and as a league. It was awesome to win our first game, but to also represent the W League in their inaugural game and inaugural season in such an exciting way.” -Midfielder Grace Bahr

  • Rachel Racks Up First Goal(s). In the ninth minute of the inaugural game, forward Rachel McCarthy ran into forward Katie Soderstrom’s blocked shot at the top of the area and blasted a shot from 20 yards that went inside the left post to make it the first goal in W League history – but she didn’t stop there. McCarthy scored again in the 17th minute on a penalty kick, earning her the league’s first brace as well.

“It was awesome. She’s an amazing player. We came here hoping to build the dynamic for the community and show what the McCarthy sisters can do. I love playing with her and I’m glad we had the opportunity to come out and play together for the season.” – Defender Robyn McCarthy

  • Home Sweet Home. Give it up to the Brickyard Battalion for their presence. As usual, they set the tone for the electrifying atmosphere with their colorful banners, flags and songs that pumped up the crowd to the point where the players had trouble hearing Head Coach Paul Dolinsky in their opening match! Young, old, and new fans alike packed the Grand Park stands, making all the Girls in Blue’s five home games in Westfield sold out.
  • Maddy’s Hatty. Indiana’s Team defeated Flint City AFC 3-0 on June 10, and the victory was a historic one for forward Maddy Williams, who scored all three goals during a 15-minute span in the first half to record the Eleven’s first hat trick in W League play.

“For me, it’s not about accolades. For me, it’s just getting back into the sport that I played for a while. And these young girls, that’s the stuff that they’ve worked for their whole lives for. I’ve done that already. I just try and provide that veteran mentorship and experience. And I feel like sometimes that I can elevate other people’s games.” -Forward Maddy Williams

  • The kids are alright. Various departures and injuries towards the end of the season caused Dolinsky to call in some “reinforcements” from the Indiana Fire Juniors academy set-up, including 15-year-old Reese Sochacki and 14-year-old Emma Johnson. On July 3, Indy Eleven were up 2-1 over Kalamazoo in stoppage time, when Johnson fired a shot from 15 yards to earn her first W League goal,  setting off a joyous celebration with her teammates.
  • Crown the Queens of the Division. Indy Eleven defeated Detroit City FC 3-0 to conclude its final away trip of the regular season on July 1. The win improved the team’s record to 8W-0L-2D and gave them the final three points they needed to be crowned the Great Lakes Division Champions – with two games to spare. The team’s entry into the USL W League Playoffs was guaranteed with the victory and division title.

“Just to watch my teammates and just to see them so successful, and just to see how hard they were working day in and day out, they definitely deserved it. I was super proud of the team in that aspect.” – Midfielder Rachel Dewey

  • Undefeated Season.

Another 3-0 win over Detroit, this time in front of 3,000 fans at Carroll Stadium on July 9,, capped an undefeated regular season for the Girls in Blue. It’s 10W-0L-2D record helped Indiana’s Team finish as one of three unbeaten teams in the 44-team nationwide league, establishing the Eleven as one of the new league’s flagship clubs.

“We knew on paper that we had a good roster put together from the get-go, but to be undefeated in the manner in which we have and beat the competition that we have beat, it’s been nothing short of fantastic up to this point. For me personally, it’s been a lot of fun. It’s a great group of girls.” – Head Coach Paul Dolinsky

  • Clash of Titans in Playoffs. Indy Eleven drew the toughest possible match to open the postseason – an away affair at fellow unbeaten side Minnesota Aurora FC, which led the W League with remarkable crowds routinely over 5,000 fans throughout the season. Despite carrying a 1-0 lead into halftime, Indy’s campaign came to an abrupt end in the Quarterfinal Round after a 1-2 loss. Despite the outcome, Indy Eleven will be remembered for its historic, ground-breaking season for women’s soccer in the Hoosier State.

 “Getting to make it to the playoffs in the first season ever and being undefeated in the first season ever, I think it’s a testament to how hard the girls worked. They definitely deserved that. I think next year, we’ll come back better and stronger and hopefully get a playoff win.” – Midfielder Rachel Dewey

  • Team’s Defense. One of the key components to Indy’s successful season was the team’s defense. On the season, goalkeepers Mackenzie Wood, Nona Reason, and Kate Phillips made a combined 54 saves, collected an impressive 0.64 goals-against average, and had a .885 save percentage. In front of the goalkeepers, stalwart defenders the likes Robyn McCarthy, Julia Leonard, and Grace Bahr were supplemented by up and comers Karyn Cherry, Jenna Chatterton and others to set a tone that made attacking the Girls in Blue a tough task across the field.  

“I think our roster kind of showed the depth we had with the defense and I think it showed on the field with Julia as the center back and the youngest players such as Jenna and Karsyn. I think it was amazing to give them an opportunity to play with us. But also, they’re so good that I love having the opportunity to give them my perspective of the game and my expertise as an older player, and I hoped that kind of rubbed off on them a lot. It was honestly just because we built the chemistry even in a short amount of time.” – Defender Robyn McCarthy

  1. Maddy and Katie Chase Golden Boot. It was a scoring battle for the ages between Katie Soderstrom and Maddy Williams, as both played a pivotal part in the Eleven women’s team’s success. The dynamic duo both combined for 21 of the team’s 32 goalsleading the team to a Great Lakes Division title. After trading the lead across the team’s final four games, Soderstrom’s brace in the regular season finale against Detroit City FC ultimately pushed her ahead to finish on 11 goals, one more than Williams. The duo finished second and third in the Great Lakes Division in scoring, sitting behind only Kalamazoo FC forward Bailey Korhorn’s 12 tallies.

“It’s super exciting, but it comes a lot from great play for my teammates and them setting me up. And I’m just trying to do my part to help us win games. It’s all on them for putting me in those positions to succeed. And in winning all the scramble moments that allow me to have the looks that I have.” -Forward Katie Soderstrom

  1. The Girls in Blue. Indy’s roster included a wide range of talent from across Indiana, the United States and overseas, including Australia, Spain and Serbia. The club was able to achieve a lot of success in their first season thanks to the diversity of talent mined from a variety of sources, including last December’s open tryouts at Grand Park; the collective nationwide contacts between coaches Paul Dolinsky, Grace Bahr and Brandon Kim and Sporting Director, Academy and W League Operations Phil Presser; and the club’s close relationship with the Indiana Fire Juniors program that more than half of the 30+ members of the squad throughout the season had previously played for at one time during their development in the sport.

“I think the roster is awesome because you have a lot of girls who are local, and then you have a lot coming in from out of town, from different colleges, different ages. We had towards the end of the season players as young as 14-15, high schoolers, to myself and my fellow center back (Robyn McCarthy) being out of college, so 23-24. So I think for us, it was incredibly special to see how we grew as people on the field and how we understood each other’s tendencies and personalities.

But also, it was how we got along off the field; plenty of long bus rides, plenty of late nights after the games,  being able to talk to people and talk about different life experiences. It was amazing to see. We did have quite a rotation as the games went on because a lot of us have other jobs and other responsibilities; to see how the rotation can work with people who we met two months ago was amazing. And I think it goes to show how well (Paul) and (Brandon) built a roster so that we were able to play against and withstand any competition

FINERAN NAMED TO LOU GROZA AWARD WATCH LIST

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Mitchell Fineran ended the 2021 season with a 39-yard field goal to give Purdue Football a thrilling overtime victory in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl. Now, Boilermakers’ kicker will begin the 2022 campaign on the Lou Groza Award Watch List, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced Wednesday morning (July 27).

The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, named for National Football League Hall of Fame kicker Lou “The Toe” Groza, is awarded annually to the best kicker in college football.

In his first season as a Boilermaker, Fineran made 24 of his 29 field goal attempts for an 82.8 percent conversion rate. The Samford transfer earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and media, leading the conference with 1.85 field goal per game and ranking third nationally. Fineran’s field goal percentage and scoring (8.6 ppg) also cracked the country’s Top 25.

Fineran started his Purdue career by drilling his first nine field goals, including a season-long 49-yarder in the win over Oregon State. The graduate student made four field goals in three different games throughout the 2021 season. Fineran’s four field goals helped the Boilermakers knock off No. 3 Michigan State, and he added four more at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field as Purdue took down Northwestern. Wrapping up 2021, Fineran put an exclamation point on the season with a 4-for-4 performance in the Music City Bowl that included the game-winner in overtime.

Fineran and Purdue kick off the 2021 season at home, facing Penn State in a Big Ten battle under the lights of Ross-Ade Stadium (Sept.1). Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET as part of a national broadcast on FOX.

BUTLER MBB PREPS FOR FOREIGN TOUR TO ITALY AND GREECE

Butler will take a foreign tour August 2-12 to Italy and Greece.

The Bulldogs will play a total of four games during the tour as Butler prepares for the upcoming 2022-23 season under head coach Thad Matta.

Butler will play games Thursday, Aug. 4 and Friday, Aug. 5 in Rome against a team of professional players from that area. The team will also play contests Tuesday, Aug. 9 and Thursday, Aug. 11 in Athens against a team of professional players.

In addition to time in Rome and Athens, Butler will also spend several days in Sorrento.

The team’s itinerary will include visits to The Colosseum, Vatican City, Pompeii, the Parthenon and Acropolis, and Panathenaic Stadium, among other sites.

Butler last took a foreign tour during the summer of 2017, playing four games in Spain. 

Matta has returned to his alma mater to lead the Bulldogs for a second time. In his 17 years as a college head coach, which includes stints at Butler, Ohio State and Xavier, Matta possesses an incredible record of 439-154 (.740). Matta’s teams won 20 or more games in 16 of those 17 seasons, advancing to the NCAA Tournament 13 times.

The Bulldogs return leading scorer Chuck Harris and significant contributors Jayden Taylor and Simas Lukosius from last season’s roster. Matta has supplemented that young, talented group of Bulldogs this offseason with the addition of standout transfers Manny Bates (North Carolina State), Eric Hunter Jr. (Purdue), Jalen Thomas (Georgia State), and Ali Ali (Akron).

Season tickets are on sale now to cheer on the Butler men’s basketball team at Hinkle Fieldhouse during the 2022-2023 campaign. The Bulldogs’ home schedule features 18 contests, including all 10 BIG EAST opponents.

MORALES AND VAZQUEZ SET FOR 2022 VOLLEYBALL CHALLENGER CUP

ZADAR, Croatia – Another international tournament opportunity is slated to open Friday for University of Evansville head volleyball coach Fernando Morales and 5th-year senior Alondra Vazquez who will represent Puerto Rico in the 2022 Volleyball Challenger Cup.

Taking place in Zadar, Croatia, the Challenger Cup is an 8-team event that is held from July 28-31.  The Puerto Rico Women’s National Team opens play on Friday with an 8 p.m. local time (1 p.m. CT) match versus Cameroon. With a victory, the team would guarantee a spot in one of the medal contests while matching up against either France or Colombia for a spot in the championship final.

On the opposite side of the bracket, Belgium opens against the Czech Republic while Croatia faces Kazakhstan.  Round two features two matches on Saturday, July 30 with the medal games taking place on July 31.  The winners of the competition will earn a promotion to play in the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Nations League replacing the lowest ranked challenger teams of this year’s VNL in each gender.

Morales serves as the head coach of the national squad while Vazquez is an outside hitter.    Earlier in the summer, they were part of the Puerto Rico team who competed at the NORCECA Final Four Qualification Tournament in Mexico.  Highlighting the event was a victory over Costa Rica.

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1890       Giants hurler Mickey Welch joins Pud Galvin and Tim Keefe in becoming baseball’s third hurler to record his 300th victory. After today’s 4-2 victory over Pittsburgh, the 31-year-old Brooklyn native will win only seven more games before ending his 13-year career next season.

1943       In a Red Cross charity game, Babe Ruth leads the Yank-Lands, a club featuring former Yankees and Indians, against the Cloudbusters, a U.S. Navy team from the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill Naval Pre-Flight School. ‘The Bambino,’ appearing as a pinch-hitter in his only plate appearance in the 8-5 loss to the servicemen at Yankee Stadium, is walked by a 25-year-old Navy pilot trainee and Boston Braves right-hander Johnny Sain.

1952       The seventh-place Reds dismiss manager Luke Sewell, replacing him with the recently released skipper of the Browns, Rogers Hornsby. While the ‘Rajah’ takes a week to look over the Cincinnati farm system, coach Earle Brucker will take over the team on an interim basis.

1962       After disappearing to use the restroom with Gene Conley when the Red Sox bus got stuck in New York traffic two days ago, infielder Pumpsie Green shows up in the team’s hotel in Washington D.C., having missed a doubleheader loss to the Senators. The prodigal infielder is fined $500 for his disappearance, while his teammate, who will return on June 30, remains AWOL.

1963       Dick Ellsworth strikes out Cardinals’ left fielder Stan Musial three times in the Cubs’ 5-1 victory at Wrigley Field. It will be the only time ‘Stan the Man’ is whiffed three times in a game during his 22-year career, a span of 3026 contests.

1964       During a 3-1 victory over the Yankees in New York, Angel infielder Jim Fregosi becomes the first player to complete the cycle in the 3+ years of the franchise’s existence. The Los Angeles shortstop will accomplish the feat again in 1968, making it the second occurrence in club history.

1967       The Indians break a five-game losing streak when Tony Horton hits a walk-off homer leading off the bottom of the 12th inning. The first baseman’s round-tripper breaks up a scoreless pitching duel between Steve Hargan and Orioles’ right-hander Moe Drabowsky, who allows only six hits in the extra-inning contest at Cleveland Stadium.

1970       At Anaheim Stadium, Angels’ catcher Tom Egan has a tough day when he allows five passed balls on pitches thrown by three Halo hurlers. The California backstop, making matters worse he also commits a sixth-inning error, allowing the eventual winning run to score in a 6-5 loss to the Yankees.

1971       Orioles’ third baseman Brooks Robinson, a sixteen-time Gold Glove winner, commits three errors. Thanks to Frank Robinson’s ninth-inning three-run walk-off home run off Rollie Fingers, the Orioles prevail and beat the A’s, 3-2.

1976       White Sox pitchers John ‘Blue Moon’ Odom (5 innings) and reliever Francisco Barrios (4 innings) combined to no-hit the A’s, 2-1. The win will be the Chicago starter’s last of his 84 victories in the major leagues.

1978       At Candlestick Park, the Giants beat the Cubs 9-8 in a game that began at Wrigley Field. The Chicago contest, interrupted three times by rain, was suspended with a man on first and two out in the top of the eighth inning because of darkness.

1979       Cubs’ slugger Dave Kingman, who hit a pair of round-trippers yesterday, becomes the sixth player in major league history to hit three home runs in one game twice in a season. ”Sky King’s’ trio of long flies isn’t enough when Chicago drops the Shea Stadium contest to the Mets, 6-4.

1983       American League president Lee MacPhail upholds the Royals’ protest, ruling George Brett’s ‘Pine Tar’ home run should count. The game resumes on August 18, continuing from the point of the third baseman’s controversial round-tripper, with the Royals beating the Yankees, 5-4.

1985       The Hall of Fame welcomes new inductees Lou Brock, Enos Slaughter, Arky Vaughan, and Hoyt Wilhelm. Wilhelm is the first pitcher to be inducted because of his role as a relief pitcher.

1985       Darrell Evans’s home run, a sixth-inning solo blast off Ken Schrom, proves to be the difference when the Tigers beat Minnesota at the Metrodome, 3-2. The Detroit third baseman’s 300th career round-tripper comes on a 3-0 pitch at exactly 3:00 pm.

1990       At Candlestick Park, Giants’ hurler Scott Garrelts is perfect, putting away the first 26 Reds batter he faces. Paul O’Neill’s two-out single to shallow center field in the ninth inning breaks up the no-hitter, and the right-hander ends up with a one-hit 4-0 blanking of Cincinnati.

1991       Expos right-hander Dennis Martinez pitches a perfect game, defeating Los Angeles 2-0 at Dodger Stadium. Ron Hassey becomes the first backstop ever to catch two perfect games, as he also was behind the plate on May 15, 1981, when Indian hurler Len Barker faced 27 batters, beating the Blue Jays, 3-0.

1993       Facing Willie Banks in a 5-1 loss to the Twins at the Kingdome, Mariner Ken Griffey Jr. homers in his eighth straight game to tie a major league record held by Dale Long (1956) and Don Mattingly (1987). Junior barely misses breaking the record in tomorrow’s game when he hits a long double off the right-center field wall at the Kingdome.

1993       “That wasn’t even a big monkey that was on my back. It was a zoo. The guys treated it like I had won a World Series game for them.” – Anthony Young, commenting on his teammates’ reaction to the end of his 27-game losing streak. *After a shaky one-inning relief performance, in which he gives up the go-ahead run, Anthony Young’s record-setting 27-game losing streak comes to an abrupt end when the Mets score twice in the ninth for a 5-4 walk-off victory over Florida at Shea Stadium. The infamous string of bad luck, covering 81 appearances over two seasons, included 14 losses as a starter and 13 as a reliever.

1994       Kenny Rogers hurls the 12th perfect game in modern major league history and becomes the first American League left-hander to accomplish the feat when he beats the Angels, 4-0. The Rangers’ southpaw throws the fifth no-hitter in franchise history, being the first to do it perfectly.

1995       The Yankees trade Danny Tartabull to the A’s for Jason Beverlin and Ruben Sierra. Oakland’s newest outfielder signed a lucrative free-agent deal worth more than $5 million a year with New York after the 1991 season, never producing offensively on the level he played with Kansas City.

1995       The Yankees obtain David Cone from the Blue Jays in exchange for Marty Janzen and two minor leaguers, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon. The trade for the right-hander, considered one of the best deals in franchise history, will prove to be an essential piece of the team’s success in the late nineties.

1996       Darryl Strawberry’s 300th career round-tripper is a dramatic ninth inning, two-run dinger, which gives the Yankees a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Royals. The 34-year-old ‘Straw’ will finish his stormy 17-year major league career with 335, hitting 75% of his round-trippers as a member of New York’s other team, the Mets.

1998       After setting the record yesterday for hitting the most home runs before getting a grand slam, Sammy Sosa hits another today in the Cubs’ 7-5 loss to Arizona at Bank One Ballpark. The Chicago slugger becomes the 18th major leaguer to hit a bases-loaded homer on consecutive days.

2000       Unable to win in four months, David Cone is sent to the team’s minor league camp in Tampa by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. The struggling veteran will be under the supervision of Billy Connors, the Yankees vice president of player personnel.

2000       The Mets have a busy day on the trading block as they obtain Oriole shortstop Mike Bordick for utility players Melvin Mora and Mike Kinkade and minor pitchers Lesli Brea and Pat Gorman. A few hours later, New York completes a four-player deal with the Devil Rays, receiving reliever Rick White and outfielder Bubba Trammell in exchange for minor leaguers Jason Tyner and Paul Wilson.

2001       Oriole outfielder Melvin Mora’s wife, Gisel, gives birth to quintuplets. The three boys and two girls, who each weighed in under two and a half pounds, are doing well.

2001       With two outs in the ninth inning at PNC Park, Brian Giles erases a three-run deficit with a walk-off grand slam, defeating an astounded Astros squad, 9-8. Houston’s All-Star closer Billy Wagner gives up the Pittsburgh left fielder’s ‘sayonara slam.’

2002       During his induction speech at the Hall of Fame ceremonies in Cooperstown, with the song ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ playing in the background and with a copy of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in his hands, Ozzie Smith compares his baseball career to Dorothy’s away trip from Kansas. The 47 year-old, citing the recipe for his success during his 19-year career with the Cardinals and Padres, tells the crowd he had the mind to dream, which the Scarecrow cherished, a heart to believe, which the Tin Man wanted, and courage to persevere, which the Lion lacked.

2002       The Giants trade two minor league pitchers, right-hander Felix Diaz and left-hander Ryan Meaux, to obtain veteran center fielder Kenny Lofton from the White Sox. The 35-year-old outfielder will finish the season with the second-place club, hitting .267 in 46 games before signing as a free agent with the Pirates.

2002       Gary Sheffield’s team record of reaching base ends at 52 straight games in the Braves’ 7-1 loss to the Phillies at Turner Field. The Atlanta right fielder surpassed Dale Murphy’s previous mark of 48 consecutive contests.

2004       Troy Percival strikes out Alfonso Soriano and gets Mark Teixeira to ground out to nail down a 2-0 Angels victory over Texas in Anaheim. The 34-year-old right-hander becomes the 18th major league closer to record 300 career saves and the fifth-fastest to reach the milestone.

2005       At Whataburger Field, a trio of Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers-AA) pitchers hurls nine perfect innings to beat the hometown Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros-AA), 3-0. A.J. Murray (6), Steve Karsay (2), and Scott Feldman (1) combine to throw only the third nine-inning perfect game, the first by a combination of hurlers, in the 117-year history of the Texas League.

2006       The Brewers have a busy day wheeling and dealing as the team sends All-Star left-fielder Carlos Lee and a minor league outfielder to the Rangers and acquire third baseman David Bell from the Phillies in separate deals. The Brew Crew gets reliever Francisco Cordero, fly chasers Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix, and a minor league southpaw from Texas and trade Class A right-hander Wilfrido Laureano to the Philadelphia to get their new infielder.

2006       In an 8-7 loss to the Diamondbacks at Minute Maid Park, Luke Scott becomes the first rookie and sixth player in franchise history to hit for the cycle. The Houston 28-year-old right-fielder, who had a three-run homer in the fourth, a fifth-inning triple, and a double in the seventh inning, completes the rare feat with a two-out single in the 11th inning.

2007       With the help of two day-night doubleheaders, MLB establishes a new daily attendance record as 717,478 go through the turnstiles for the 17 games played on Saturday. The former mark of 640,412, set on July 3, 1999, was accomplished with the same number of games played.

2011       The Mets acquire 21-year-old right-hander Zack Wheeler, a top minor league prospect from the Giants, in exchange for outfielder Carlos Beltran and cash considerations. New York bids farewell to their All-Star outfielder, batting .289, with 15 home runs and 66 RBIs in the final season of his seven-year deal with the team.

2011       With their 10-9 victory, the visiting Mets complete a four-game sweep in Cincinnati for the first time in franchise history. The Great American Ball Park victory is especially rewarding because Carlos Beltran, the team’s best offensive player, was traded to San Francisco during the series.

2012       Ike Davis drives in all of the runs in the Mets’ 6-3 loss in Arizona when he becomes the ninth player in franchise history to hit three home runs in a game. The New York first baseman joins Steve Finley (2004, Diamondbacks), Eddie Murray (1980, Orioles), and Clyde McCullough (1942, Cubs) as only the fourth player in baseball history to account for all three of his team’s runs with solo homers in a defeat.

2013       After being elected by the Pre-Integration Veterans Committee in December, the induction of Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert, 19th-century backstop Deacon White, and umpire Hank O’Day marks the first time the Hall of Fame ceremony doesn’t include a living selection. The last time there weren’t any inductees alive to be honored occurred in 1968, with the enshrinement of Pud Galvin, the game’s first 300-game winner, 63 years after his death.

2017       In his second appearance with the independent San Rafael Pacifics, 37-year-old southpaw Lou Evans sings the Star-Spangled Banner, becoming the first starting pitcher in professional baseball to perform the National Anthem before taking the mound. The 2001 Marlins’ nineteenth-round draft pick will retire after the game, ending his comeback from a 12-year hiatus due to injuries.

WORLD SERIES HISTORY-1937

Once again, Joe McCarthy’s New York Yankees dominated the American League for the second consecutive season, winning the American League pennant by a thirteen-game margin with league-leading hitting by three of the games’ greatest. Second-year man Joe DiMaggio drove in one-hundred sixty-seven runs, veteran Lou Gehrig added one-hundred fifty-nine and Bill Dickey contributed one-hundred thirty-three for an amazing four-hundred fifty-nine runs batted in.

Gehrig, known as the “Iron Horse” had enjoyed a magnificent season that would sadly be his last before amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (later named Lou Gehrig’s disease) began to take its toll on his career and his life. He batted .351 and recorded thirty-seven homers, his protégé “Joe D”; hit .346 with forty-six homers and Dickey came in third with a .332 and twenty-nine. The three were without equals at the plate, although George Selkirk was on pace (eighteen homers in sixty-eight games) and may have made it four, if not missing half a season due to injuries. The Yankees also had the American League’s only twenty-game winners with Lefty Gomez (21-11) and Red Ruffing (20-7) as well as standout relief in Johnny Murphy, who recorded twelve saves and thirteen overall.

However, the Yankees weren’t the only repeaters in ’37 as the National League’s Giants returned for a classic rematch against their hated cross-town rivals. Unlike the Yankees, Bill Terry’s club did not possess the dominant hitting (Mel Ott was closest with thirty-one home runs and ninety-five runs batted in), but they did boast two, twenty-game winners with Carl Hubbell (22-8) and rookie Clift Melton (20-9).

Game 1 echoed the previous Series opener with the Giants on top 1-0 going into the sixth, but before the inning concluded, the Yankees struck for seven runs on their way to a six-hit, 8-1 victory for Gomez. Game 2 started the same as the Giants led 1-0 going into the bottom of the fifth. This time the American Leaguers struck for two in the fifth, two more in the sixth and headed for their second consecutive 8-1 comeback that featured a seven-hitter from Red Ruffing. Things didn’t get any better for the National Leaguers in Game 3 either as Monte Pearson, getting last-out relief help from Murphy in the ninth, won — despite the fact that the Giants had loaded the bases.

As the Yanks prepared to go for their fourth sweep in their last five World Series appearances, the Giants were still trying to get their first win in their last four Series games. Things seemed to finally turn in their favor for Game 4 as they managed six runs in the second inning. Center fielder Hank Leiber got things going with a base hit and then capped the rally with a two-run single. Hubbell went on to record a 7-3 victory while throwing a clutch six-hitter. In the ninth inning, the last he would pitch in a Series, he allowed a homerun to Lou Gehrig, the last he would hit in a Series. Once again, the Giants had comeback from the brink of elimination, and once again, the Yankees had an answer the following day. In Game 5, Myril Hoag whacked a second inning homer for the Yanks and DiMaggio connected in the top of the third. Ott returned fire with a two-run blast in the bottom of the inning, but Lazerri hit a leadoff triple in the fifth and scored on Gomez’s single due to second baseman Burgess Whitehead’s fielding error. Two outs later, Gehrig doubled home Gomez on the way to a 4-2 Series ending victory.

The back-to-back titleists had won their sixth World Series championship, (breaking the mark they had shared with the Philadelphia Athletics) and they were only getting started. Believe it or not, the four-games-to-one humiliation that the New York Giants were forced to endure was only the tip of the iceberg and the defending champion’s next two opponents would not find themselves as fortunate.

ALL-STAR GAME HISTORY-1948

For the first time, the American League entered the game at a decided disadvantage. Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams were hobbled by injuries that limited them to pinch-hitting and George Kell, the game’s premier third baseman, missed the game with an ankle injury. Many felt that this may be an opportunity for the National League to capitalize on the American League’s misfortunes and take a first step toward evening up the All-Star wins.

Unfortunately for the National League, they were wrong. In the fourth inning, the American League loaded the bases off of pitcher Johnny Schmitz. Ken Keltner and George McQuinn singled and Birdie Tebbetts walked, loading the bases. Manager Bucky Harris let pitcher Vic Raschi bat and he singled into left, scoring Keltner and McQuinn and sending Tebbetts to third. In order to prevent another run, Schmitz was pulled and Johnny Sain was summoned from the bullpen in relief. It didn’t help as he gave up a liner to DiMaggio. It scored Tebbetts and made the score, 5-2. It remained that as the American League added yet another W in their win column. Many felt that the game was becoming too routine, but change was on the horizon.

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY

1906 Yankees turn triple-play, beat Cleveland 6-4

1912 10th Tour de France won by Odile Defraye of Belgium

1928 IX Summer Olympic Games open in Amsterdam, Netherlands

1929 Chicago Cardinals become 1st NFL team to train out of state (Michigan)

1929 24th Davis Cup: France beats USA in Paris (3-2)

1929 23rd Tour de France won by Maurice De Waele of Belgium

1929 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Paris, France: Home team wins 3 straight titles as Henri Cochet beats American George Lott 6-1, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 for a 3-2 victory

1931 White Sox score 11 in 8th to beat Yankees 14-12

1933 NFL divides into (2) 5 team divisions

1935 29th Tour de France won by Romain Maes of Belgium

1936 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Wimbledon: 4 straight titles for GB as Fred Perry beats Australian Jack Crawford 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 for a 3-2 victory

1940 Yankee Charlie Keller hits 3 HRs to beat White Sox 10-9

1956 43rd Tour de France won by Roger Walkowiak of France

1957 White Sox’ James Landis struck out 5 times in a game

1972 39th NFL Chicago All Star Game: Dallas 20, All Stars 7 (54,162)

1976 White Sox John Odom (5 inn) & Francisco Barrios (4 inn) no-hits A’s

1978 At Old Timer’s Game it’s announced Martin will again manage Yankees

1979 Dave Kingman becomes 6th to have a 2nd 3 HR game

1984 23rd modern Olympic Games open in Los Angeles

1985 Lou Brock, Enos Slaughter, A Vaughan, & Hoyt Wilhelm inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

1987 US Open Women’s Golf, Plainfield CC: England’s Laura Davies won the first of her 4 major titles in an 18-hole Tuesday playoff over runners-up Ayako Okamoto and JoAnne Carner

1987 Ángel Cordero Jr.becomes 4th jockey to win 6,000 races

1989 Braves Dale Murphy, hits 2 3-run HRs in an inning, 14th man to hit 2 HRs in an inning. Also ties record of 6 RBIs in an inning

1989 Cards’ Vince Coleman is caught stealing ends record streak at 50

1991 US Senior Open Men’s Golf, Oakland Hills CC: Jack Nicklaus matches course record of 65 to beat Chi Chi Rodriguez by 4 strokes in an 18-hole Monday playoff

1991 Dennis Martínez pitches the 13th perfect game in baseball history

1991 Tour de France: Spanish rider Miguel Induráin beats Gianni Bugno of Italy by 3′ 36″ for 1st of 5 consecutive Tour wins; Djamolidine Abdoujaparov points winner

1991 Federation Cup Women’s Tennis, Nottingham, England: Spain wins first title with 2-1 victory over US; Conchita Martínez & Arantxa Sánchez Vicario clinch final 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 against Gigi Fernández & Zina Garrison-Jackson

1993 Mariner Ken Griffey Jr. is 3rd to hit HRs in 8 straight games

1994 Baseball players decide to strike on Aug 12, 1994

1994 Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers throws the only perfect game in franchise history, against the California Angels

1996 NY Yankee Darryl Strawberry hits his 300th HR

1996 Americans Karch Kiraly & Kent Steffes win inaugural beach volleyball gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics; Kiraly first to win gold in both indoor and beach events

1996 British Senior Open Men’s Golf, Royal Portrush GC: Defending champion Brian Barnes of Scotland wins by 3 strokes from Bob Charles and David Oakley

1997 NY Ranger center Mark Messier signs with Vancouver for $20M for 3 yrs

2012 Ye Shiwen of China sets world record in the women’s 400m individual medley (4:28.43) to take the gold medal at the London Olympics

2019 Evian Championship Women’s Golf, Evian Resort GC: South Korean Ko Jin-young wins her second major title of the season by 2 strokes from Shanshan Feng, Jennifer Kupcho and Kim Hyo-joo

2019 106th Tour de France: 22 year old Egan Bernal becomes first ever Colombian and Latin American winner; Points champion: Peter Sagan of Slovakia

2019 British Senior Open Men’s Golf, Royal Lytham & St Annes GC: Germany’s Bernhard Langer wins his 4th Senior Open by 2 strokes from Paul Broadhurst

2021 Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus claims Olympic double by winning women’s 200m freestyle in OR 1:53.50 in Tokyo; she had beaten American superstar Katie Ledecki in 400m 2 days earlier

2021 Japanese swimmer Yui Ohashi wins women’s individual medley double with victory in 200m at the Tokyo Olympics; 3 days earlier she won the 400m IM gold medal

2021 19 year old gymnast Daiki Hashimoto of Japan becomes youngest Olympic men’s artistic individual all-around champion in history at the Tokyo Games

TODAY IN FOOTBALL HISTORY-JULY 28

July 28, 1923 – Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos franchise forms and plays in the League from 1923 through 1927 when they were sold and moved to Orange, New Jersey. (See July 27 entries of this series). They were originally called the Kelley Duluths named after the Kelley-Duluth Hardware Store as the team was put together with the help of the store’s owner M. C. Gebert. Three years later they changed their name to the Duluth Eskimos. The teams played very few home games due mainly to fact of the harsh early winters that settle in upper Minnesota. As a matter of fact the team played only one home game over their final two seasons. The Duluth franchise was one of the first ever NFL teams to use a logo. As we talked about briefly in yesterday’s July 27 History Headlines, the Eskimos mostly road schedule eventually caught up to them financially and their rights and roster were given to the new Orange Tornadoes franchise in 1929.

July 28, 1923 – St. Louis All-Stars franchise is recognized by the NFL and plays just in the 1923 season in the League. The idea of the team came from their starting guard Ollie Kraehe, who also owned, managed and operated the club. Ollie had played for the Rock Island Independents a year earlier. His thought was that since small towns like Rock Island and Green Bay could make a buck off of pro football teams imagine what a large city like St. Louis could do. He bought into the NFL for $100 and found that getting true All-Stars to play for his squad was difficult. Many players either lied that they were All Stars from the East or gave alias names so that their parents wouldn’t know they were playing. Unfortunately for Kraehe his fans did not support his team and in September of 1924 the NFL cancelled the All-Stars franchise.

July 28, 1929 – According to author Scott Adamson the Chicago Cardinals became the first NFL team to train out of state, holding camp in Michigan.

July 28, 1929 – According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame the NFL announced that they would be adding a fourth official to the field during scheduled regular season games.

July 28, 1933 – The NFL divided into two divisions for the first time per Yahoo.com. Prior to that the team with the best overall record would be declared the League Champions. This caused issues that got sticky on more than one occasion. The year prior though in 1932 the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans were neck and neck in the standings each finished the regular season with identical .857 winning percentages.  George Halas wanted no part of a shared title so he challenged the Spartans to a final game in Chicago that would settle the score. The winner would be champs and the loser would fall to third place behind Green Bay. The game was moved in doors to a modified field size and the Bears won of course in controversial fashion over Portsmouth who was missing their star player and quarterback Dutch Clark. The Bears won 9-0. The new Eastern Division consisted of the Boston Redskins, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Pittsburgh Pirates. The Western Division consisted of the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Green Bay Packers, and Portsmouth Spartans.

July 28, 1972 – At the Chicago College All-Star game played at Soldier Field, the Dallas Cowboys, the defending Super Bowl Champs, knocked down the college upstarts 20-7 before a crowd of 54,162. The MVP award, always given to the college player team, happened to be Pat Sullivan the quarterback from Auburn University.

July 28, 1995 – Art Modell sends representatives to secretly talk with those in Baltimore about moving his then Cleveland Browns franchise to the Maryland city.

Hall of Fame Birthdays for July 28

July 28, 1893 – John O’Hearn was an end from Cornell University and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He went on to play in the NFL in 1920 with the Cleveland Tigers and he spent the 1921 season with the Buffalo All-Americans. John’s brother Ed played for Buffalo that season of 1921 as well.

July 28, 1943 – Larry Elkins was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994 as a WR out of Baylor University. Larry held many of the top receiving records at Baylor. In 1963 he had 70 receptions and in 1962 he returned a punt 92 yards for a score. In 1965 Mr. Elkins was the first round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers as well as the 2nd overall draft pick of the AFL’s Houston Oilers, just after the Jets picked Joe Namath. He ended up accepting the offer from the Oilers and spent four seasons there. Injuries plagued his pro career as he joined the NFL’s Steelers in 1969, earned the starting job and then  broke his collar bone in a pre-season game.

July 28, 1957 – Charles Alexander was a halfback out of LSU. In 2012 the College Football Hall of Fame inducted him into their ranks.

Not Yet in the Hall of Fame

July 28, 1978 – Hillcrest Heights, Maryland – Linebacker Julian Peterson from Michigan State form 1998 through 1999 was born. Julian was selected as the 16th overall player taken by San Francisco 49ers in 2000 NFL Draft. He also played for the Seahawks and Lions during his NFL career per Yahoo.com. Julian played in 5 Pro Bowls and earned All-Pro honors three times in this tenure in the League. For his career Peterson had 802 combined tackles with 595 of them being of the solo variety, 51.5 sacks, 8 interceptions, 53 passes defended and 1 defensive touchdown.

July 28, 1988 – Millington, Tennessee – Defensive end Greg Hardy who played at  Mississippi from 2006 through the 2009season was born.  According to an article on Yahoo.com Hardy was selected as the 175th overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2010 NFL Draft. He also played for the Dallas Cowboys. Greg’s career stats include 241 total tackles with 165 of them being solo, 40 sacks, one pick and eight forced fumbles. Hardy was a Pro Bowl selection and a Second-team All-Pro in 2013. He set a Panthers franchise record for most sacks in a season in 2013 with 15.

1924 NFL SEASON

The fifth season of the National Football League was filled with change and some familiar faces. The League went into the season with 18 teams (down from 20 that participated in the 1923 season). The Cleveland Indians, Toledo Maroons, Oorang Indians, Louisville Brecks, and the St Louis All-Stars all folded shop but some new blood was instilled into the fray to make it a net loss of only two teams. The Kansas City Blues, Kenosha Maroons and the Frankford Yellow Jackets all debuted as new franchises for the 1924 season.

The Cleveland Indians are an interesting story though. Apparently the owner of the Cleveland Indians pro football team, a Cleveland area jeweler named Sam Deutsch, entered into an agreement on August 4, 1924 to buy the Canton Bulldogs franchise, players, equipment… yes the whole kit and kaboodle. Yes the same Canton Bulldogs that were the two time defending NFL Champions after the 1923 season. The sale was a win for both teams as Canton’s owners had great teams with good attendance at the games but were struggling to turn a profit. while Cleveland had cash flow but lacked the fire power to put fannies in the stands. So before the 1924 season started, Deutsch named his coach as Guy Chamberlin, the player-coach and stud player from the University of Nebraska who through his strategy and coaching led the Bulldogs to their 1922 and 1923 NFL championships in Canton. Deutsch demanded that some of the core players of his former Indians team still be in the lineup, especially quarterback Hoge Workman, an All-American from nearby Ohio State. The Cleveland Bulldogs were a powerhouse as the combined rosters of the Indians and the Bulldogs were what in essence was an All-star team of the two clubs. He promoted them as the Cleveland Bulldogs and the team continued the Canton Bulldogs unbeaten streak by dispatching the Chicago Bears in their opener 16-14, tying Frankford’s Yellow Jackets the next week, then rattling off a string of victories over the likes of the Akron Pros twice, Rochester Jeffersons and the Dayton Triangles. It was on November 16 though, riding a 31 game unbeaten streak dating back to Canton that the Bulldogs were finally defeated on the gridiron. It was the second meeting with Frankford Yellow Jackets that ended the streak as the Jackets knocked off the Dogs 12-7 in Cleveland.

Speaking of the Frankford Yellow Jackets in 1924…

The Frankford team played their inaugural game as an official member of the NFL by knocking off a tough Rochester team 24-0. That first year was indeed a successful campaign for the Jackets as they played to a 17-3-1 overall record and an official NFL mark of 11-2-1, with both of those losses coming at the hands of George Halas and his powerful Chicago Bears team. They played more games than most others mainly due to the Pennsylvania blue laws that prohibited professional sports to be played in the Commonwealth on the Sabbath. Brian Michael’s research from our post on the Frankford team in 2021, on this describes that this forced the Frankford eleven to play their home games on Saturdays and then often travel with their opponents back to that teams home and play again on Sunday. Playing twice a week was grueling but really displays just how good this squad was to accomplish such a lofty record. The debut season for the Yellow Jackets ended up placing them in third place in the NFL, but they had their sights set on a higher goal.

The Race for a 1924 NFL Champ

There were 5 main contenders that emerged for the NFL Championship title in 1924 as it came down to the wire. The Buffalo Bisons, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Bulldogs, Frankford Yellow Jackets, and Green Bay Packers were all there in November at the top of the standings. Buffalo shot their contention right out of the window, dropping their last three games to drop from 6–2 to 6–5, end up somewhat mediocre. Green Bay also stumbled late going from a substantial 6–2 record to fall 7–4. This left Cleveland and Chicago to contend for the title, since Frankford had two losses and the other two teams only one. Teams such as the Duluth Kelleys and the Rock Island Independents would have been contenders for the title but their more limited schedules (6 games for Duluth and 9 for Rock Island) effectively ruled them out of title contention.

November 30 was declared as the end of the season, and when the day arrived, Cleveland sat just ahead of Chicago and Frankford in the standings. The ever convincing George Halas pulled and old trick out of the bag and challenged Cleveland to post season contest between the two clubs. The Chicago owner did the same ploy against Buffalo in the 1921 season to take the crown. The Bears defeated the Bulldogs in the post November 30 game too, and seemingly thought they crafted another second place finish into a title, but the NFL brass headed by Joe Carr declared the standing on November 30 as final, and all games thereafter were exhibition contests with no merit for the Championship declaration.

DAILY NUMBERS-JULY 28

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 vandallism.

TV THURSDAY

GOLFTIME ETTV
DP World Tour: Hero Open7:00amGOLF
LPGA Tour: Women’s Scottish Open10:00amGOLF
PGA Tour: Rocket Mortgage Classic3:00pmGOLF
MLBTIME ETTV
Miami at Cincinnati12:35pmBally Sports
Tampa Bay at Baltimore12:35pmMASN/2
Bally Sports
Kansas City at NY Yankees7:05pmBally Sports
YES
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh7:05pmNBCS-PHI
ATTSN-PIT
Detroit at Toronto7:07pmBally Sports
Sportsnet
Cleveland at Boston7:10pmBally Sports
NESN
Seattle at Houston8:10pmRoot Sports
ATTSN-SW
LA Dodgers at Colorado8:40pmSportsnet
ATTSN-RM
Texas at LA Angels9:38pmMLBN
Bally Sports
Chi. Cubs at San Francisco9:45pmMLBN
MARQ
NBCS-BAY
SOCCERTIME ETTV
UEFA Europa Conference League: APOEL vs Botev Plovdiv1:00pmParamount+
UEFA Europa Conference League: Viborg vs Sūduva1:00pmParamount+
UEFA Europa Conference League: Puskás vs Vitória Guimarães2:00pmParamount+
UEFA Europa Conference League: Brøndby vs Pogoń Szczecin2:00pmParamount+
Liga MX Femenil: Tijuana vs Monterrey10:00pmESPN+
WNBATIME ETTV
Seattle at Connecticut7:00pmNBATV
Washington at Dallas8:00pmCBSSN
Los Angeles at Phoenix10:00pmCBSSN

TV FRIDAY

CFLTIME ETTV
British Columbia at Saskatchewan9:00pmESPN2
GOLFTIME ETTV
DP World Tour: Hero Open7:00amGOLF
LPGA Tour: Women’s Scottish Open10:00amGOLF
PGA Tour: Rocket Mortgage Classic3:00pmGOLF
MLBTIME ETTV
Baltimore at Cincinnati6:40pmMASN/2
Bally Sports
NY Mets at Miami6:40pmSNY
Bally Sports
Kansas City at NY Yankees7:05pmBally Sports
YES
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh7:05pmNBCS-PHI
ATTSN-PIT
St. Louis at Washington7:05pmBally Sports
MASN/2
Detroit at Toronto7:07pmBally Sports
Sportsnet
Cleveland at Tampa Bay7:10pmBally Sports
Milwaukee at Boston7:10pmBally Sports
NESN
Arizona at Atlanta7:20pmBally Sports
Seattle at Houston8:10pmRoot Sports
ATTSN-SW
Oakland at Chi. White Sox8:10pmNBCS-CA
NBCS-CHI
LA Dodgers at Colorado8:40pmSportsnet
ATTSN-RM
Texas at LA Angels9:38pmMLBN
Bally Sports
Minnesota at San Diego9:40pmBally Sports
Chi. Cubs at San Francisco10:15pmMARQ
NBCS-BAY
MOTORSPORTSTIME ETTV
NASCAR Truck: TSport 2009:00pmFS1
SOCCERTIME ETTV
DFB Pokal: Dynamo Dresden vs Stuttgart12:00pmESPN+
DFB Pokal: 1860 München vs Borussia Dortmund2:45pmESPN+
First Division A: Union Saint-Gilloise vs Sporting Charleroi2:45pmESPN+
England Championship: Huddersfield Town vs Burnley3:00pmESPN2
Club Friendly: Udinese vs Chelsea3:00pmESPN+
NWSL: North Carolina Courage vs Washington Spirit7:30pmParamount+
NWSL: Racing Louisville FC vs Portland Thorns8:00pmParamount+
Copa América Femenina Third Place Match8:00pmFS2
Liga MX: Juárez vs Toluca10:00pmFS2
MLS: Los Angeles FC vs Seattle Sounders FC11:00pmFS1
WNBATIME ETTV
Las Vegas at Indiana7:00pmNBATV
New York at Chicago8:00pmCBSSN

MLB STANDINGS

American League
East
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
NY Yankees6633.66737 – 1229 – 2132 – 1619 – 610 – 64 – 6L 2
Toronto5444.55111.531 – 2023 – 2419 – 1813 – 1015 – 118 – 2L 1
Tampa Bay5345.54112.531 – 1822 – 2724 – 197 – 1112 – 95 – 5W 1
Baltimore4949.50016.528 – 2021 – 2919 – 2411 – 1312 – 85 – 5L 1
Boston4950.4951724 – 2525 – 2512 – 2913 – 919 – 72 – 8L 2
Central
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Minnesota5246.53127 – 2225 – 2413 – 1025 – 1910 – 94 – 6L 2
Cleveland5047.5151.525 – 1925 – 288 – 1125 – 219 – 87 – 3W 2
Chi White Sox4949.500321 – 2728 – 2214 – 1520 – 217 – 96 – 4L 1
Detroit4059.40412.525 – 2715 – 327 – 1419 – 264 – 113 – 7W 1
Kansas City3959.3981322 – 3017 – 297 – 1318 – 2010 – 184 – 6L 2
West
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Houston6435.64630 – 1434 – 218 – 816 – 432 – 196 – 4L 3
Seattle5445.5451027 – 2327 – 2212 – 157 – 627 – 197 – 3W 3
Texas4354.4432021 – 2622 – 285 – 1111 – 818 – 282 – 8L 3
LA Angels4256.42921.522 – 2720 – 296 – 1811 – 618 – 194 – 6W 2
Oakland3863.3762717 – 3321 – 3010 – 1610 – 1616 – 267 – 3W 3
National League
East
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
NY Mets6137.62231 – 1730 – 2028 – 1212 – 514 – 127 – 3W 3
Atlanta5941.590333 – 2126 – 2023 – 1617 – 1013 – 116 – 4L 1
Philadelphia5147.5201026 – 2525 – 2220 – 208 – 816 – 115 – 5W 1
Miami4652.4691522 – 2324 – 2924 – 198 – 119 – 143 – 7L 1
Washington3466.3402815 – 3619 – 308 – 369 – 812 – 144 – 6L 1
Central
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
Milwaukee5544.55626 – 2029 – 2411 – 1328 – 197 – 96 – 4W 2
St. Louis5247.525329 – 2023 – 2710 – 1425 – 1610 – 75 – 5W 1
Chi Cubs4057.4121420 – 3220 – 257 – 622 – 217 – 186 – 4W 6
Pittsburgh4058.40814.521 – 2519 – 337 – 1118 – 2913 – 112 – 8L 3
Cincinnati3859.3921622 – 3016 – 297 – 1014 – 228 – 215 – 5W 1
West
TeamWLPctGBHomeRoadEastCentralWestLast 10Streak
LA Dodgers6532.67035 – 1530 – 1712 – 1117 – 625 – 118 – 2W 1
San Diego5545.55011.525 – 2130 – 2414 – 1019 – 1020 – 205 – 5L 1
San Francisco4850.49017.526 – 2222 – 2814 – 1311 – 1016 – 213 – 7L 7
Arizona4553.45920.527 – 2718 – 2614 – 1110 – 1115 – 276 – 4W 3
Colorado4554.4552129 – 2416 – 308 – 199 – 821 – 185 – 5W 1

X – Clinched Division,  Y – Clinched Playoff Spot