All posts by phnseo

Cardinals place Molina on IL amid series of moves

The Cardinals placed catcher Yadier Molina on the injured list with a strained right thumb and activated infielder Matt Carpenter as part of a series of roster moves Thursday.

St. Louis also brought up left-hander Chasen Shreve from Triple-A Memphis, optioned left-hander Tyler Webb and outfielder Rangel Ravelo to Memphis, and transferred pitcher Jordan Hicks to the 60-day IL update ahead of their series against Arizona beginning Friday night.

His move to the IL was retroactive to Monday. The nine-time All-Star, who missed 12 games in May and June with a similar injury, pinch hit on Saturday but hasn’t started a game since July 3.

St. Louis will recall catcher Andrew Knizner from Triple-A Memphis before Friday’s game against Arizona to fill in for Molina. Knizner made his big league debut June 2, going 0-for-7 for St. Louis. The Cardinals also brought up left-hander Chasen Shreve from Memphis, optioned left-hander Tyler Webb and outfielder Rangel Ravelo to Memphis, and transferred pitcher Jordan Hicks to the 60-day IL ahead of their series against Arizona beginning Friday night.

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Carpenter has been sidelined since June 29 with a lower back strain.

Shreve appeared in 20 games for the Cardinals last season, and is 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA in 37 games for Memphis this season.

This is the second time this season that Molina has missed time due to his troublesome right thumb, as the same injury also put the longtime St. Louis backstop on the IL from May 31 to June 11.  It’s fair to assume that the nagging nature of Molina’s thumb problem is at least partially responsible for his lack of production this season, though Molina was also struggling prior to May 31. 

Overall, Molina has only a .261/.286/.368 slash line and four homers over 276 plate appearances, making him one of several veteran Cardinals who are seemingly all having down years at the same time.

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Ortiz has third surgery after complications

David Ortiz underwent a third surgery to address complications stemming from the gunshot wound he suffered at a bar in his native Dominican Republic more than a month ago, his wife Tiffany said in a statement Thursday.

Tiffany Ortiz said her husband was back in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital earlier this week, but she did not specify the nature of the procedure.

“David is recovering well and is in good spirits,” she said in the statement, which was released by the Boston Red Sox. “We continue to be incredibly appreciative of the kindness and compassion shown to David and to our entire family during this difficult time.”  

Ortiz was shot in the back while he was at a bar in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, on June 9. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he underwent one surgical procedure, before the Red Sox arranged to have him transported to Boston to receive additional care. He had a second successful surgeryafter arriving at Massachusetts General on June 11.

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Dominican authorities have said Ortiz, 43, was mistakenly shot in what they have characterized as a hit gone wrong. Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez said late last month that Sixto David Fernandez, a friend of Ortiz’s who was sitting next to him on the night of the shooting, was the intended target.

At least 11 suspects had been arrested in connection with the shooting as of last month, including the man whom authorities said ordered the killing, Víctor Hugo Gómez. Ortiz led the Red Sox to three World Series championships, was a 10-time All-Star and hit 541 home runs.

The Red Sox retired his number, 34, in 2017, and a bridge and a stretch of road outside Fenway Park are named after him.

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Kawhi signs shorter 3 year Clips deal

Kawhi Leonard formally signed his contract with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Leonard was eligible to earn up to $141 million over four years by joining the Clippers. However, Charania reported his contract is for three years and $103 million, with a player option in the third year.

The structure of Leonard’s deal allows him to have a lot of flexibility if he’s ultimately unhappy in Los Angeles or simply wants a new challenge. NBC Sports’ Tom Haberstroh added the three-time All-Star stands to gain a lot financially as well.

This sets up a free-agent bonanza in 2021. Leonard, Paul George, LeBron James, Bradley Beal and Giannis Antetokounmpo are all either unrestricted free agents or eligible to opt out of their contracts during that offseason. Assuming Leonard opts out, getting him for two years instead of four years still makes the Clippers’ gambit worth it. Landing Leonard and acquiring George was a statement of intent from the franchise and immediately makes it a championship threat.

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Leonard’s decision to sign for only three years adds a little more risk, however.

The Clippers leveraged their future in order to convince him to sign. They traded first-round picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for George and the Thunder have the right to swap first-rounders in 2023 and 2025.

Joining the Clippers appears to have been Leonard’s preferred move. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported he reached out to Kevin Durant about joining him in L.A. before shifting to George. One would presume he has every intention at the moment of re-signing with the Clippers in two years.

But a lot of things can change before then. This summer already accelerated the Clippers’ timeline for title contention and now they have even more urgency to make the most of the next two seasons.

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Wolves don’t match Grizzlies’ offer for Jones

The Minnesota Timberwolves did not match a three-year, $28 million offer sheet for Tyus Jones by Tuesday’s deadline and the guard is now headed to the Memphis Grizzlies.

“We sincerely thank Tyus for his contributions on the court and Tyus and the entire Jones family for their genuine impact on the Twin Cities community,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas said in a statement Tuesday night. “We wish them nothing but the best in Memphis.”

Minnesota had two days to match the Grizzlies’ offer sheet. Among the reasons for not doing so, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski: The Timberwolves are pursuing max salary-cap space in 2020 free agency.

Memphis, meanwhile, is using most of a $9.3 million midlevel exception on Jones, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

With the Grizzlies, the 23-year-old point guard will get a chance to develop behind No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant. De’Anthony Melton, 21, could be a viable third point guard in time. The 23-year-old Jones averaged 6.9 points and 4.8 assists for the Timberwolves during the 2018-19 season.

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Jones was the 24th overall pick in the 2015 draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but was traded to the Timberwolves for two second-round picks. During his career in Minnesota, he has averaged 5.1 points and 3.3 assists.

The 6-foot-2 Jones had spent his entire four-year NBA career with the Timberwolves. The Cleveland Cavaliers selected him out of Duke with the 24th overall pick in the 2015 draft but immediately traded him to Minnesota.

Jones grew up in Apple Valley, Minn., and won a state title with Apple Valley High School in 2013. He went on to play college basketball at Duke University and led the Blue Devils to a national championship in 2015.  Now that Jones and Derrick Rose, who signed with Detroit in free agency, are gone, the Timberwolves are left with Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier and Tyrone Wallace as the point guards on roster.

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AL holds off NL for 4-3 win in All-Star Game

Hours after an awesome Home Run Derby got everyone buzzing even louder about monster shots and juiced balls, only a couple flew out of Progressive Field in the All-Star Game.

Instead, Justin Verlander blazed 97 mph heat from the start, Shane Bieber and Aroldis Chapman each struck out the side and the American League slowed a loaded NL lineup 4-3 Tuesday for its seventh straight win.

”I know it’s the year of the home run, but pitching dominated today,” Colorado slugger Nolan Arenado said.

Sure did – at least until play resumes Thursday.

Facing Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger and a bunch of boppers, the AL staff combined to strike out 16.

Derby champ Pete Alonso of the Mets grounded a two-out, two-run single past Gleyber Torres in the eighth to close the NL’s gap. After a double steal put runners at second and third against Cleveland reliever Brad Hand, White Sox catcher James McCann made a tumbling catch on Mike Moustakas’ twisting foul pop to end the inning.

Chapman closed to give the AL its 19th win in 22 games, with a tie stuck in there. He got a little encouragement with two outs – Yankees teammate CC Sabathia, honored this week for his contributions on and off the field, strolled to the mound to talk to the flamethrower.

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Chapman then struck out Yasmani Grandal for a save , giving the AL an overall 45-43-2 lead in the Midsummer Classic.

Major League Baseball is on a record-shattering pace for homers this season, but no one came close to clearing the walls until Charlie Blackmon connected in the NL sixth to make it 2-1. Texas’ Joey Gallo countered with a solo drive in a two-run seventh.

Still, it was a far cry from last year’s All-Star Game that featured a record 10 home runs.

Fittingly, the first batter of the game was the guy who leads the majors in home runs – Yelich, the NL MVP with 31 homers at the break, hit leadoff for the first time this year.

Yelich lined out and Verlander quickly fanned Javier Baez and Freddie Freeman to finish his work.

Those lively balls that Verlander is complaining about? Didn’t bother him a bit. NL starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, deGrom and Luis Castillo threw scoreless innings to keep the NL close in the early going.

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Hawks send Spellman to Warriors for Jones

The Golden State Warriors acquired big man Omari Spellman from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for center Damian Jones and a 2026 second-round draft pick.

Spellman, the 30th pick in the 2018 draft, appeared in only 46 games for the Hawks last season, averaging 5.9 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game before his season ended with an injury.

Spellman plays center, where he will join a rotation that includes Kevon Looney, Willie Cauley-Stein and Alen Smailagic,and power forward, where he would be paired with former Villanova teammate Eric Paschall behind Draymond Green.

The trade also represents a payroll savings for the Warriors, as Jones is scheduled to make $2.3 million next season and Spellman $1.9 million.
Spellman acknowledged in January that one reason he did not see much time for the Hawks early on was his weight.
“Pretty much, I was fat,” Spellman said. “I had to lose weight. That’s what allowed me to get back.”

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Spellman spent some time in the G League and returned slimmer, but his season ended on March 1 when he suffered a high left ankle sprain.
Jones appeared in only 25 games for the Warriors over his first two years. Last season, he was promoted and started 22 games at center before suffering a torn pectoral muscle. He briefly returned at the end of the playoffs.

Over three seasons, Jones averaged 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game and won two rings. The move comes after Kevin Durant moved on to the Nets, Andre Iguodala was traded and as the Warriors prepare to be without Klay Thompson due to a torn ACL.

By getting Spellman, the Warriors can pad their bench while the Hawks receive another utility man behind a young core roster.

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Lions’ Quin retires after 10 NFL seasons

Former Detroit Lions and Houston Texans safety Glover Quin is retiring from the NFL after enjoying an underrated career for the past decade.

The 33-year-old told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein he’s “walking away” from football.

“Playing professional sports was always a dream of mine. Football was the route I chose and God blessed me to be able to persevere through all the hardships and play 10 years in the NFL,”

Quin wrote in a text message to ESPN. “I’m so thankful for the opportunity I had to play in the NFL with such great players and two great organizations.

“Football was never who I was as a person. It was always what I had done. I wanted to use football as a stepping stone into the rest of my life and not let football be my life. I always only wanted to play 10 years. Said if I was able to walk off the field after the last game in Year 10, it would be really hard for me to walk back on. I’m young, I’m healthy and I got a lot of life to live. So I’m walking away from the game of football.”

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Quin was drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans out of New Mexico. The rangy safety earned snaps in no time, becoming an every-day starter in his fourth game. He’d start every game for the next nine seasons.

After a shaky start to his career, Quin became a rising playmaker during the end of his four-year stint in Houston. The safety then signed in Detroit as a prized free agent in 2013. He immediately became the Lions stalwart in the secondary, ball-hawking, stepping up in the run, and managing the entire back end of Detroit’s defense. Quin earned a Pro Bowl bid and a second-team All-Pro selections in 2014, when he led the NFL in interceptions (7). Frankly, he was one of the more underrated players during his six years in Detroit and should have garnered more accolades — including 2017 All-Pro and Pro Bowl snubs after what was arguably his best season.

A dependable safety who was always available, starting 156 of 159 career games, and whose nose found the football, Quin compiled 24 interceptions, 737 tackles, 85 passes defended, 10 forced fumbles, four sacks and two interceptions returned for defensive touchdowns.

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Rockets ‘long shot’ to grab Westbrook

The Houston Rockets are among the teams interested in trading for Oklahoma City All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking told ESPN.

One Rockets source, however, described trading for Westbrook as a “long shot” due to the challenge of finding pieces that fit with the Thunder or pulling off a complicated multiteam deal.

In the aftermath of the trade that sent Paul George to the LA Clippers, Westbrook and his agent, Thad Foucher, engaged with Thunder general manager Sam Presti about the next step of the point guard’s career, including the possibility of a trade before next season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

The Athletic reported that the Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons also have interest in Westbrook, who averaged 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.9 assists last season, marking the third consecutive campaign he averaged a triple-double. The interest in Westbrook fits Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s pattern of aggressively pursuing superstars.

Houston landed Chris Paul in a sign-and-trade deal with the Clippers two years ago and attempted to add Jimmy Butler under similar circumstances this summer. Butler, however, did not meet with the Rockets before agreeing to a deal with the Miami Heat.

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Rockets also had interest in trading for Carmelo Anthony and George before the Thunder dealt for both during the 2017 offseason, and Houston signed Anthony for the veteran’s minimum after he was traded to Atlanta and received a buyout last summer.

As unlikely as it may be, a trade that sends Westbrook to Houston would reunite him with Harden, his former Thunder teammate and fellow recent MVP. The Rockets acquired Harden, a sixth man in Oklahoma City, in a trade just before the 2012-13 season after the Thunder decided they did not want to give him a maximum contract.

Westbrook won the MVP in a close vote over Harden in 2016-17, when the Thunder point guard averaged a league-leading 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists, joining Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season. Harden has won the scoring title the past two seasons and the MVP in 2017-18.

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Dolphins Norton loses arm in crash

Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Kendrick Norton lost his arm in a serious car accident on Wednesday night, his agent has confirmed.

Norton’s injury happened when his truck rolled over after colliding with a concrete barrier, coming to rest on its roof.

Another vehicle was involved in the crash, but the driver of that vehicle suffered no injuries. The Florida Highway Patrol will continue to investigate, the spokesperson said in a statement sent to TIME.

“With sadness, I can confirm that Kendrick Norton was in a car accident last night and suffered multiple injuries, including the amputation of his arm,” Norton’s agent, Malki Kawa, tweeted. “We ask that you continue to pray for him. His family also asks that the public respect Kendrick’s privacy.”

Lt. Alex Camacho said Norton was driving in the early morning hours of July 4 on State Road 836, also called the Dolphin Expressway, a 15-mile stretch of highway that cuts across Miami The former seventh-round pick of the Panthers from Miami joined the Dolphins late last season.

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While he’s still in the hospital, he’s apparently in good spirits. His agent shared an exchange with former college teammate David Njoku.

As defensive linemen, players like Norton make their bones using their arms to power through or “swim” around offensive lineman and wrap up the opposing team’s quarterback or running back. His career is likely over, although his team has not officially declared that.

The only one-handed player drafted in modern NFL history is former University of Central Florida linebacker Shaquem Griffin, and his amputation — brought about by a congenital birth defect — stops short of his forearm.

Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Norton played college football at the University of Miami.

“We were made aware this morning of a serious car accident involving Kendrick Norton,” said the Miami Dolphins in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Kendrick and his family during this time.”

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Murray returns to Wimbledon with opening win

Andy Murray, who last played in the singles competition back in 2017, makes winning return in men’s doubles competition

Murray and Herbert battled back from a set down to defeat Romanian Marius Copil and France’s Ugo Humbert 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-0.

“It was nice. I was a little bit nervous at the start but obviously got better as the match went on. Really nice atmosphere at the end, the new roof is brilliant. The crowd make a bit more noise it seems. It was great to get the win,” said Murray.

“As the match went on we started to get more comfortable with each other on the court, we were reading each other’s games better and things were happening naturally. Hopefully we’ll keep getting better.” Murray got a great reception when he walked out on the court, although a lot of fans had taken a break between matches.

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Things did not go to plan early on for Murray and Herbert, with both men dropping serve as their opponents, Humbert and Copil, won the opening set.

But Murray and Herbert made a sharper start to the second set with a break of the Humbert serve and grew in confidence to level the match.

The pair continued to improve and turned the match around with four-time Grand Slam doubles champion Herbert full of confidence on serve. Another break of the Humbert serve in the third game was enough to put them on the brink of victory.

With the light fading, it was announced the match would be concluded under the new Court One roof and when they returned a flick of the Herbert racket helped the pair break in the opening game and they soon extended their advantage with a second break of serve before racing to victory.

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