All posts by phnseo

Dodgers fear Seager has serious hamstring strain

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager suffered what the team fears will be a Grade 2 left hamstring strain after pulling up lame while trying to score in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels.

Seager will undergo an MRI exam Wednesday, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that early indications were that the shortstop sustained a “Grade 2-plus” strain of his hamstring, which could require a six-week recovery period.

“Obviously, very unfortunate, the way he’s been playing and what he means to our ball club,” Roberts told reporters after Tuesday night’s loss to the Angels. “As far as timetable, we’ll know more [Wednesday]. … We all feel bad for Corey.”

Seager, who missed the final five months of last season following Tommy John surgery, singled off Angels pitcher Hansel Robles in the top of the ninth inning. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and likely would have scored on Alex Verdugo’s base hit to center field, but he grabbed at his hamstring before rounding third base and gingerly walked off the field shortly later.

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Seager, who was an All-Star in his first two full seasons in 2016 and 2017, has a .278 batting average with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in 66 games this season. Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez are expected to replace Seager in the lineup.

“Just one bad step, I guess,” Seager said moments before walking out of the visitors’ clubhouse at Angel Stadium. “He was swinging the bat well,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. “

That’s probably part of it — he was swinging the bat so well he was on the bases three, four times a game. Doubles, first-to-thirds. When you have that kind of volume, and you get hot weather like this, it’s almost a recipe for something to come up. Unfortunately, it hit him.”

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Saints, DE Jordan reach extension deal

The New Orleans Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday.

The extension will take the four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher through the 2023 season and be worth $52.5 million — with a max value of $55 million, including performance-based bonuses — and $42 million in guaranteed salary, according to Schefter.

Jordan, who turns 30 next month, is now under contract for five years with a max of $74.5 million on the deal.

The next pressing contract matter for the Saints to address is wide receiver Michael Thomas. The two sides have held loose discussions about the direction of a deal, but no tangible progress has been reported.

He has spent his eight-year NFL career with the Saints after being selected in the first round (No. 24 overall) in the 2011 draft out of Cal. He has 71.5 career sacks and 98 tackles for loss in 128 games (127 starts).

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He earned his fourth Pro Bowl nod last season, when he had 12 sacks and helped New Orleans reach the NFC Championship Game. Jordan was first-team All-Pro in 2017, when he had a career-best 13 sacks, broke up 11 passes and forced two fumbles.

Jordan wouldn’t confirm he had agreed to a contract extension Tuesday but discussed how important it was to him to play for just one team in his career.

“My goal is to win a Super Bowl here. Then my goal will be to win another Super Bowl. I’ve always said that New Orleans has become my home,” Jordan said Tuesday. “My kids are in New Orleans. I’ll be in New Orleans ’til they decide they don’t want me no more. … My dad [Steve Jordan] played for the Vikings for 13 years. I always said I want to be with the same team for the rest of my career.”

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Oblak wants Atletico’s exit

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak wants to leave the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium and favors a move to his boyhood club Manchester United over Paris Saint-Germain, according to ESPN FC.

The 26-year-old has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and signed a contract extension with Atletico in April which includes a €120 million (£107m) buyout clause. But speaking last week, Oblak warned Atletico that he is ready to leave if the club’s hierarchy decide to sell their key players.

‘I will stay at Atletico as long as their ambitions match mine,’ he said. ‘And some people might think their ambitions have lowered, as big players have left. ‘I am sure the club will do everything possible to sign quality players. When I signed my new contract they gave me guarantees about the club’s ambition.’

According to ESPN, Oblak is now open to the prospect of leaving Atletico and is wanted by both United and Paris Saint-Germain. But the Slovenia international favors a move to Old Trafford as he supported United as a child and is keen to play in the Premier League.

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United, who will be playing in the Europa League next season, face a decision over David De Gea’s future as the Spain international has just a year remaining on his current contract and an agreement over a new deal has not yet been reached.

It’s understood that De Gea is requesting parity with Alexis Sanchez, who is the top earner at Old Trafford, but United are refusing to meet the 28-year-old’s demands. PSG, who have allowed Gianluigi Buffon to leave on a free transfer this summer, have expressed an interest in signing De Gea and United must decide whether to sell the Spaniard this summer or risk losing him on a free transfer next year.

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Warriors stay alive with Game 5 win

The Golden State Warriors aren’t letting go of the NBA title just yet.

With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson shooting and Draymond Green swatting, the champions found a way to win even after a gut-wrenching loss.

Curry scored 31 points, Thompson added 26 and they led a season-saving surge long after Kevin Durant was injured again to give the Warriors a 106-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Devastated by the loss of Durant, the All-Stars that the Warriors had left made sure there was celebration along with their sadness, pulling out what Green thought had to be the greatest win during their run to five straight NBA Finals.

”When you’re down six with a couple minutes to go in an elimination for these guys to win a championship, we could have thrown in the towel. We could have folded, but we didn’t,” Green said. ”I said it before: I’ve never seen this group fold. And that stands true still.”

Curry and Thompson, nicknamed the Splash Brothers, combined for three straight 3-pointers in the closing minutes after Toronto had taken a six-point lead with under 3 1/2 minutes remaining in front of a raucous, red-shirted crowd.

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”Even going down six with three minutes left, their ball, we didn’t panic,” Thompson said. ”We just do what we do.”

The Warriors lost Durant barely a quarter after getting him back but got the win, cutting Toronto’s lead to 3-2 and sending the series back to Oracle Arena for Game 6 on Thursday.

Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points for the Raptors but couldn’t get the final shot, which went to Kyle Lowry and was blocked by Green.

The two-time defending champion Warriors were minutes away from their title reign ending, having lost Durant and a 14-point lead during an emotionally exhausting game. They had controlled Leonard for three quarters, but he scored 10 straight Toronto points in the fourth and the Raptors were close to their first championship and a party that would have stretched coast to coast in Canada.

Golden State is the only team to lose a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, when Cleveland came back to win in 2016.

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Nadal wins the French Open for 12th time

Rafael Nadal maintained his stranglehold on the French Open by beating Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem in four sets to lift a 12th men’s singles title.

The Spaniard won for the third straight year at Roland Garros with a 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 victory in a high-quality final.

The 33-year-old is the first player to win 12 singles titles at the same Grand Slam and has now won 18 majors overall.

“I can’t explain what I’ve achieved and how I feel. It’s a dream,” said Nadal.

“To play for the first time in 2005 – I never thought in 2019 I’d still be here. It’s an incredible moment and very special for me.”

It leaves the left-hander two Grand Slam titles adrift of Switzerland’s Roger Federer, who he beat in the semi-finals, and three clear of Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic, whose bid to hold all four majors was ended by Thiem. The second seed slid to the red dirt in triumph when he clinched victory on the second match point, lying behind the baseline with his arms outstretched as he contemplated the magnitude of his achievement.

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With clay plastered over his back, he clambered to his feet and took the acclaim of an enthralled Roland Garros crowd which has become accustomed to seeing him triumph.

Thiem, 25, suffered his second Grand Slam final defeat after losing in three sets to Nadal in last year’s final.

Hundreds of Spanish fans milling around outside Chatrier, identified by their red and yellow flags, football shirts and facepaint, has become an almost annual event before the men’s final at Roland Garros since 2005.

Nadal has won on all but three of his appearances here, with his only defeats coming in the 2009 fourth-round by Robin Soderling and 2015 quarter-finals against Djokovic. In 2016, he pulled out before the third round with injury. That meant he went into Sunday’s final with a Roland Garros record of 92 wins and two defeats.

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RB Powell agrees with Jets

The New York Jets continue to stockpile assets in their backfield, this time bringing back Bilal Powell.  The team announced Friday it agreed to a deal with the eight-year veteran. 

Powell has been on the free-agent market since the end of last season. The 30-year-old appeared in just seven games for the Jets in 2018 because of a neck injury that landed him on injured reserve. 

The 30-year-old Powell worked out for New York on Friday and appears to have proven he is healthy.

He had surgery to repair a bulging disk in his neck after he was hurt during a 2-yard run late in the second quarter of New York’s 37-17 loss to Minnesota on Oct. 21. 

Former head coach Todd Bowles told reporters last October that Powell’s injury was so severe it could be career-ending. Brian Costello of the New York Post reported early Friday that Powell was going to have a workout with the team. 

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It must have gone well, since Powell will get a chance to be part of a running back group that already includes Le’Veon Bell and Ty Montgomery. 

Powell has been a steady presence as a backup for the Jets throughout his career. He has averaged at least four yards per carry in each of the past seven seasons and finished second on the team with 343 rushing yards last year.

Powell has 3,446 yards rushing in eight seasons with the Jets, 1 yard behind Adrian Murrell for ninth on the team’s career list. He was drafted in the fourth round out of Louisville in 2011 and has been a dual-threat presence out of the backfield, catching 204 passes for 1,567 yards and five touchdowns.

Powell joins a crowded Jets backfield that includes Le’Veon Bell, Ty Montgomery, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon and De’Angelo Henderson.

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Nadal tops Federer to reach 12th French final

Defending champion Rafael Nadal powered past Roger Federer in the French Open semi-finals on Friday, to move within one victory of a record-extending 12th Roland Garros title after handing his oldest rival his worst Grand Slam defeat in 11 years.

The 33-year-old produced a masterful performance to get past Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in the last four on Court Philippe Chatrier and set up a final clash with either world No 1 Novak Djokovic or Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem on Sunday.

It will be Nadal’s 12th appearance in the championship match, which he has never lost before.

“It’s incredible to play with Roger here,” said Nadal. 

“Congratulations to him – to be at his level at 37, it’s incredible. I say thank you to the Parisian fans, because it’s magnificent for me to be in another final.

“It’s always a pleasure to play with him. It’s always a difficult match against him.”

The third seed now has an stunning 92-2 win-loss record on the Paris clay, having beaten Federer for the sixth time in as many French Open meetings despite difficult, windy conditions. Nadal also leads his overall head-to-head against Federer 24-15, and 14-2 on clay after ending a run of five straights losses to the 37-year-old.

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A tally of just nine games meant it was Federer’s heaviest defeat in a Grand Slam match since managing only four against Nadal in their famously one-sided 2008 Roland Garros final.

Nadal made only 19 unforced errors, crushing 33 winners as Federer struck 25, although that amount could easily have been doubled against any opponent other than the 11-time champion.

The defeat leaves Federer still waiting for a first victory over Nadal on clay since 2009 in Madrid.

A topsy-turvy start saw the Spaniard race through the first three games before Federer broke back as the wind played havoc with the players’ serves from one end. But Nadal grabbed a 4-2 advantage in a marathon sixth game as Federer, looking to become the oldest Grand Slam finalist since Ken Rosewall at the 1974 US Open, dumped a forehand into the net.

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Eagles sign Wentz to contract extension

The Philadelphia Eagles have signed quarterback Carson Wentz to a four-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday.

The deal is worth $128 million with a maximum value of $144 million and includes over $107 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That guaranteed figure breaks the record established by Russell Wilson.

Wentz had two years left on his rookie contract, so his new deal ties him to the franchise through the 2024 season. The agreement removes any doubt the Eagles would hesitate to give the 26-year-old a long-term contract due to his injury history.

The former No. 2 overall pick has failed to finish either of the last two seasons while suffering from significant knee and back ailments. When healthy, Wentz has shown the ability to perform as a franchise quarterback. He was on track to claim league MVP honors in 2017 before tearing his ACL late in the campaign, and he threw for 3,074 yards with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 11 games last year.

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The extension is similar to the one the Seattle Seahawks gave Russell Wilson, who signed a four-year, $140 million extension with $107 million in guarantees in April.

The Eagles have been open about their desire to lock Wentz into a megadeal. Howie Roseman, the executive vice president of football operations, said at the owners meetings in March that “having Carson here long-term is our goal” and the organization will “work toward that.” Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie added he would “absolutely” be comfortable extending Wentz this year, even though Wentz is coming off two significant injuries and was under contract through 2020.

The price for premium quarterbacks is only going to go up, and with Patrick Mahomes eligible for a contract after this season, the cost could soon skyrocket. By extending Wentz now, the Eagles assume some significant risk but will save millions on the back end if Wentz returns to MVP form, as they expect him to.

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Cano re-injures quad as Mets beat SF

Robinson Canó’s return to the lineup lasted all of four innings, and the New York Mets are again facing questions about their handling of a star player’s injury.

Canó was pulled from New York’s game Wednesday night against the San Francisco Giants hours after coming off the injured list, limping away with left quadriceps tightness two weeks after initially straining the muscle.

Canó hit two groundouts in two at-bats, including an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the third. He favored his left leg coming up the line and was beaten to the bag by about a step. Adeiny Hechavarría replaced him at second base to begin the fifth.

The 36-year-old doesn’t think he’ll need to go back on the injured list, but he’ll be evaluated further Thursday before New York makes any determinations.

“It’s just got tightness,” Canó said. “Nothing else.” Canó said before the game he would be cautious to avoid re-injury, noting it might take a few games before he felt 100 percent.

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His quick exit was reminiscent of Yoenis Cespedes’ previous game with the Mets last summer, when the slugging outfielder came off the shelf for one night, admitted postgame he might need surgery on both heels and ended up back on the disabled list. Cespedes has since had the operations and hasn’t appeared in a game.

Manager Mickey Callaway defended New York’s handling of Canó’s injury.

“We knew that he was ready to be activated and play,” Callaway said. “I think that he understands his body more than we can evaluate it. He looked great running down the line. He looked great fielding. He expressed to us that he was ready to go, and so we activated him.

Acquired last offseason from Seattle, Canó is hitting .238 with three homers and 14 RBIs for New York. He has been criticized for failing to hustle on a few groundball outs this season, then was May 22 running hard on a groundout two weeks ago.

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49ers announce contract extension for OT Staley

Joe Staley took the stage at the 49ers’ State of the Franchise event Wednesday night so CEO Jed York could break news that was hardly surprising.

Staley, a 12-year cornerstone at left tackle, received a two-year extension on a contract that was to expire after this season. Financial terms were not disclosed by the 49ers nor Staley’s agent.

“Honestly, Jed, since the moment you guys drafted me in 2007, it’s been my absolute honor to play for this franchise and I wanted nothing more than to complete my entire career with one franchise,” Staley said on stage alongside York, coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch at the California Theater in downtown San Jose.

“I want to thank you and your family so much for believing in me throughout my entire career. You’ve given the players everything we could ever ask for. … What we want to do is bring you a championship trophy. I want to because this is the only franchise that matters to me.”

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Before York announced Staley’s new deal, he acknowledged that a bigger show was going on in the Bay Area, but, actually, the 49ers’ news came at halftime as the Warriors hosted Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

Staley, 34, is the longest-tenured player on a roster that’s been turned over since Shanahan took over in 2017. Staley indicated at the end of last season that he intended to play a couple more seasons.

Staley made All-Pro each of the 49ers’ playoff runs in 2011-13, and he went to his sixth Pro Bowl last season. He ranks fifth in franchise history for most games by an offensive lineman (174). The bigger contract dilemma for the 49ers is when to extend defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who is entering his fourth season and had his 2020 option exercised earlier this month.

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