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Diamondbacks Sign Yasmany Tomas

Diamondbacks Sign Yasmany Tomas

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Major League Baseball (MLB) hot stove continues to heat up as a report from MLB.com indicates that the Arizona Diamondbacks have reached a deal with Yasmany Tomas.

The Cuban slugger will reportedly sign a six-year contract worth $68.5 million dollars. According to the report, Tomas will have an opt-out clause after the fourth year of the deal.

The 24-year-old outfielder joins a team that had the worst record in baseball last season, 64-98, and struggled with injuries at the position. Both Mark Trumbo and A.J. Pollock missed almost half the season with different injuries in 2014. 

Tomas has spent the last seven years playing for the Havana Industriales and hit .375 with two home runs and five RBIs in the World Baseball Classic.

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Pitino Picks Up 700th Career Win

Pitino Picks Up 700th Career Win

J. Meric/Getty Images(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- It wasn't as comfortable a victory as was probably expected, but No. 6 Louisville defeated Cleveland State 45-33 on Wednesday night in what was the 700th career victory for head coach Rick Pitino. 

I hope I'm as lucky to (win) 800, because I remember it as if it was yesterday," said Pitino. "I don't think there's as much significance personally for me, but the significance I take away is that senior class last year, how many games they won. I was the beneficiary today."

The 62-year-old became the 20th coach in Division I history to win 700 career games and ranks sixth among active head coaches. Pitino is now 700-245 in his career, including 346-117 in 14 seasons with the Cardinals (5-0).

Louisville struggled to pull away all night, leading 33-29 with 12 minutes remaining. A combination of poor shooting and missed free throws allowed the Vikings (2-3) to think upset. However, Cleveland State made just two of their final 14 shots and did not score in the final six minutes.

Montrezl Harrell had 15 points and 13 rebounds in the win, Louisville's lowest scoring game since 1997. The Vikings were paced by Trey Lewis' 24 points.

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Butler Knocks Off (5) North Carolina

Butler Knocks Off (5) North Carolina

Michael Hickey/Getty Images(PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas) -- In the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis, the Butler Bulldogs knocked off fifth-ranked North Carolina Wednesday night, 74-66, one of the bigger upsets in the first month of the college basketball season.

"This is a proud program with tremendous heritage and we're trying to do the very best with what's in front of us," said Butler's interim head coach Chris Holtmann.

It was not an easy task for Butler (4-0) who dominated the backboards, outrebounding the Tarheels (3-1) 57-40, grabbing 29 offensive rebounds in the process. That helped the Bulldogs overcome an abysmal shooting night. Butler was just 22-of-72 (30.6%) from the floor, shooting just 7 percent in the final eight minutes of regulation.

However, the Bulldogs had already built up a solid lead and were able to hold off UNC. It was a decisive 16-4 run in the second half that turned a 43-41 deficit into a 59-45 lead. Alex Barlow and Kelan Martin each had 17 points for Butler in the win.

It is the second time in the last three seasons that Butler has beat a top-10 ranked North Carolina squad. They also pulled the upset in 2012 at the Maui Invitational.

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(3) Arizona Wins Maui Invitational

(3) Arizona Wins Maui Invitational

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(MAUI, Hawai'i) -- The Arizona Wildcats used 18 points and nine rebounds from freshman Stanley Johnson to defeat San Diego State 61-59 and win the Maui Invitational on Wednesday. It was the 33rd straight non-conference win for the third-ranked Wildcats (6-0), and third win over the Aztecs (5-1) in the last two seasons.

"We have a lot of guys who don't like losing here and I'm the same way," said Johnson. His five offensive rebounds helped Arizona net 13 points off second chances.

Both teams came out shooting very strong, with 15th-rated San Diego State making 10 of 19 shots in the first half. The Wildcats were able to keep pace, going 10-for-33, and holding a 32-31 lead at halftime.

In the second half, both squads continued the high-octane pace but neither could gain a strong advantage. That changed as Arizona's defense began to clamp down, and the offense kept exploding. With less than eight minutes remaining, Kaleb Tarczewski forced a steal that resulted in T.J. McConnell's three-point shot, giving the Wildcats a 50-48 lead.

The Aztecs would not be able to recover as Arizona hit their free throws down the stretch and prevented a comeback. San Diego State was led by 14 points each from Trey Kell and Winston Shepard. It is the second Maui Invitational title for Arizona after also winning the in-season tournament in 2000.

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Jets Name Geno Smith Starter for Monday’s Game Against Dolphins

Jets Name Geno Smith Starter for Monday’s Game Against Dolphins

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After losing his starting spot to Michael Vick Week 9, Geno Smith has gotten his old job back.

The New York Jets announced Wednesday that Smith will be the starting quarterback during their game Monday night against the Miami Dolphins.

"As an organization, all of our decisions are organizational driven," Jets head coach Rex Ryan said during a conference call Wednesday. "We just want to get Geno another opportunity to show what he can do. Obviously we like the way he finished last season. We've had some bumps in the road this year. We sat him down for a few weeks and we'll see how he responds."

Smith relieved Vick during the Jets' 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills Monday. Vick had completed 7 of 19 passes with an interception before giving way to Smith. Smith played solid completing 10 of 12 passes for 89 yards.

The 24-year-old Smith, who the Jets selected with the 39th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, has played in 25 games during his career with Gang Green. During that time he has completed 56.4 percent of his passes throwing for 4,505 yards, 19 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. Smith has also ran for 509 yards and seven touchdowns.

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Florida Prepares for Florida State

Florida Prepares for Florida State

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(GAINSVILLE, Fl.) -- Florida is looking to hand Florida State their first loss of the season on Saturday in one of the biggest rivalry games of the weekend.

Gators head coach Will Muschamp is set to step down at seasons end and knows the importance of this game.

"[They're a] really good football team. [I've] got tremendous respect for [Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher] and the job he's done and his staff," Muschamp said. "They've won a bunch in a row. Last time they lost was when the Gators were up there. They've done a outstanding job."

Florida State got all they could handle from Boston College last weekend and Fisher knows that the Gators are pumped up for this game.

"We're going into battle," Fisher said. "These games are going to be dogfights. People are going to try and be the one that knocks us out, knocks us off, got nothing to lose."

Florida is 2-1 on the road this year.  The Seminoles have won six games this year at home.

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Curry Drops 40 on Heat

Curry Drops 40 on Heat

NBA via Golden State Warriors(MIAMI, Fl.) -- Stephen Curry lit up the Miami Heat Tuesday night as he led the Golden State Warriors to a 114-97 victory.

Curry finished the night shooting 12 of 19 from the floor, draining eight 3-pointers. 

There had been some concern in the past couple days with Curry's shooting as he was 8 of 24 in his previous two games. Curry steadied those worries by finding open looks with the help of his teammates. 

"Everything feels in rhythm," Curry said. "My bigs, Draymon Green, Mo Speights, Andrew Bogut set some great screens for me and I got a lot of space. When you see your first two or three go down, your confidence is at a high. Shots just appear and you have confidence to knock them down."

Heat forward Chris Bosh was utterly perplexed by the end result.  With 6:45 left in the fourth, his team was leading by two.

"We got to the end, we're in the bonus, you know 93-95 and we don't score anymore," Bosh said. "We just forget our offense and I don't know why."

The Warriors have now won six straight and are 11-2 on the season.

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Redskins Bench RGIII for McCoy

Redskins Bench RGIII for McCoy

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(ASHBURN, Va) -- Push has come to shove as the Redskins have decided to bench Robert Griffin III in favor of Colt McCoy this Sunday when Washington will face Indianapolis.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Griffin will not play this weekend, but remains a part of the team's long term plans. 

Griffin has struggled this season. He has missed six games after suffering a dislocated ankle in week 2. In the five games he has started, Griffin has completed 69.7% of his passes for 869 yards while throwing two touchdowns and three interceptions. Additionally, he has been sacked 16 times. The team is 1-4 in those five starts.

McCoy made his only start of the season against the Dallas Cowboys on October 27. He completed 25 of 30 passes for 299 yards with one interception and a rushing touchdown in a game that saw the Redskins defeat the Cowboys 20-17.

 

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Aaron Hernandez Murder Trial Delayed

Aaron Hernandez Murder Trial Delayed

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(MASSACHUSETTS) -- Aaron Hernandez has had his trial for a 2012 double murder delayed so his lawyers could prepare for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez is charged with the 2012 deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. The fallen star is alleged to have killed the two men after one of them spilled a drink on him at a Boston nightclub.

Lawyers for Hernandez say they are reviewing more than 500,000 pieces of evidence and more than 300 names turned over by the district attorney's office.

The judge in the case, Jeffery Locke, has agreed to delay the case but did not set a new trial date. Locke stated that he would like to see how long the trial in Lloyd's murder takes before making a decision. 

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Scoreboard Roundup – 11/25/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 11/25/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Atlanta Hawks 106 (7-5) - Washington Wizards 102 (9-4)

Golden State Warriors 114 (11-2) - Miami Heat 97 (8-7)

Milwaukee Bucks 98 (8-7) - Detroit Pistons 86 (3-11)

Sacramento Kings 99 (9-5) - New Orleans Pelicans 89 (7-6)

Denver Nuggets 114 (7-7) - Chicago Bulls 109 (9-6)

NHL: Ottawa Senators 3 (10-7-4) - St. Louis Blues 2 (14-6-2) - Shootout

Nashville Predators 4 (14-5-2) - Los Angeles Kings 3 (11-6-5) - Shootout

Dallas Stars 3 (9-9-4) - Edmonton Oilers 2 (6-14-2)

Winnipeg Jets 4 (11-9-3) - Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (11-9-3)

Colorado Avalanche (7-9-5, 19 pts) - Arizona Coyotes (9-11-2, 20 pts) - Overtime

NCAAB Top-25: (1) Kentucky 92 (6-0) - TX-Arlington 44 (3-2)

(3) Arizona 72 (5-0) - Kansas State 62 (3-2)

(7) Texas 78 (5-0) - St. Francis (PA) 46 (2-3)

(8) Virginia 79 (5-0) - Tenn State 36 (2-3)

Maryland 72 (5-0) - (13) Iowa State 63 (3-1)

(14) VCU 77 (4-1) - Oregon 63 (3-2)

(17) Miami (FL) 77 (6-0) - Charlotte 74 (3-2)

(23) Creighton75 (5-0) - E Illinois 53 (1-4)

(25) Arkansas 78 (4-0) - SMU 72 (2-3)

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Bills Will Play in Buffalo on Sunday

Bills Will Play in Buffalo on SundayTom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After a temporary hiatus from Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Buffalo Bills are fully planning on playing in front of their home crowd this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. The Bills' scheduled game this past Su...

Broncos Release Kicker Brandon McManus, Sign Connor Barth to Replace Him

Broncos Release Kicker Brandon McManus, Sign Connor Barth to Replace HimNational Football League(ENGLEWOOD, Colo.) -- Frustrated by the lack of consistency in their kicking game, the Denver Broncos have cut kicker Brandon McManus and replaced him with Connor Barth. The Broncos had worked out kickers Jay Feely and Barth thi...

Nick Saban on Auburn: We Remember Last Year

Nick Saban on Auburn: We Remember Last Year

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(TUSCALOOSA, Alabama) -- Alabama is hoping to avoid another shocking defeat to Auburn this year in the Iron Bowl on Saturday.

In the final play of last year's game, Chris Davis returned a missed field goal by Alabama for a 100-yard touchdown run, stunning top-ranked Alabama.

Head coach Nick Saban said Monday that this is what the game is all about.

"We all kind of remember what happened," he added. "I think that it was very disappointing to all of us here, not just the last play, but the last five minutes of the game, that we never finished the game like we needed to and it was a tough way to lose a game."

"The Iron Bowl is one of the greatest rivalries in college football and means a lot to people in the state, regardless of which side you're on," Saban continued.  "As a competitor it's a great opportunity because this game has had a lot of significance over the last few years."

Alabama currently sits in the number one spot in the College Football Playoff rankings. Meanwhile, Auburn is 4-3 in their SEC matchups this year and are 8-3.

"Their offense is one of the most productive in the country," Saban said. "They got a very good scheme. [Auburn quarterback] Nick Marshall does a fantastic job of executing that on the field."

Marshall has tossed 15 touchdowns this year and thrown for 1,859 yards.

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2015 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot Announced

2015 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot Announced

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Monday, baseball's 2015 Hall of Fame ballot was released and features 44 players, including 27 newcomers. 

Three of the best pitchers of their era highlight the list of first-timers up for induction. Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and John Smoltz join a bevy of others looking to be enshrined among the games greats in Cooperstown next summer.

Martinez owns the sixth-best win percentage of all-time at .687, while Johnson became the last 300-game winner in his final season of 2009. Smoltz, who racked up 231 wins and 121 saves in 21 seasons, will be looking to join former Atlanta Braves teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine who were selected to the Hall in 2014.

Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciappara, Gary Sheffield and Tony Clark, the current head of the players' association, are also among those appearing on the ballot for the first time. 

Among the 17 players making a return to the ballot, Craig Biggio seems to be a favorite for enshrinement. The former Houston Astros infielder missed induction by two votes last year, receiving 74.8 percent of the vote.

Also on the list are Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens. Piazza, who earned 62.2 percent of the 75 percent needed, has hit more home runs than any other catcher ever (396). Tim Raines, and Alan Trammell are among the others back on the ballot while Don Mattingly enters his 15th, and final, year of eligibility.

In order to be inducted, a player must receive 75% of the vote on a ballot. Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) are only allowed to put 10 names on a singular ballot. Enshrined along with those from the BBWAA ballot is anyone elected by the 16-person Golden Era Committee, which will make its announcement on Dec. 8. Results of the BBWAA ballot will be revealed on Jan. 6, 2015.

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Cavs Snap Skid with Win over Orlando

Cavs Snap Skid with Win over Orlando

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- LeBron James scored 29 points -- 16 in the first quarter -- as the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Orlando Magic 106-74 on Monday night.

Prior to the game, James called himself out by telling reporters "I stink" and taking responsibility for the team's lackluster performance.

"I'm my biggest critic," James said. "I wasn't happy with my play the last week. No one puts any more pressure on me than myself. You go out and you just don't talk about it, you show it too."

The veteran took his own advice and came out strong, scoring as many points in the first quarter as the Magic (6-10) did. James finished the day by shooting 9-for-17 and pushing the lead to the point where he did not play in the fourth quarter. As a team, Cleveland (6-7) controlled the game defensively with 14 steals and nine blocks, forcing 21 turnovers.

"He's a great player and that's what great players do," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said of James. "They lead their team and make plays at both ends of the floor." 

Orlando struggled offensively as well, shooting 36.3 percent (29-of-80) from the floor. The Magic, who had won consecutive road games, were playing without leading rebounder and scorer Tobias Harris for the second straight night. Victor Oladipo picked up the scoring, racking up 22 points in the loss.

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One Day Later, Bills Dominate Jets

One Day Later, Bills Dominate Jets

om Szczerbowski/Getty Images(DETROIT, Mich.) -- Even though snow stranded members of the team and forced them to play their home game at Detroit's Ford Field a day later, the Buffalo Bills throttled the New York Giants, 38-3 on Monday night.

Kyle Orton threw two touchdown passes in the win, despite Buffalo (6-5) having a shortened practice week.

"We probably had the easy part of it, and back home they had the tough part," Orton said. "[We're] excited to get here and get a big win for us, and hopefully this will propel us forward."

With many of their fans still snowed in across Western New York, the Bills put together an impressive showcase in all three phases. Five different players scored touchdowns on offense, including a pair of passes to Robert Woods and Scott Chandler. When Chandler pulled in his catch, the tight end mimicked a shoveling motion for those back in Buffalo.

"It was a little bit of a tribute to the people of Buffalo," Chandler said. "You want to do something special for our fans. They did a great job showing up for us tonight, and for the people back there, we're behind you."

The Bills also dominated on defense, holding the Jets (2-9) to just 218 total yards and only 3-of-15 on third down conversions. Manny Lawson had possibly the biggest play of the game, recovering a blocked punt in the end zone to give Buffalo a 24-3 advantage in the third quarter.

Orton finished the game with two touchdown passes and 230 yards while Michael Vick through for just 76 yards and an interception, ultimately leaving the game with an injury.

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Forsett Powers Ravens to Win over New Orleans

Forsett Powers Ravens to Win over New Orleans

Scott Boehem/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- Justin Forsett rushed for a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Baltimore Ravens to a 34-27 win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

It was Forsett's second touchdown of the night that helped the Ravens (7-4) pull away while on the road.

"The offensive line did a great job of making those lanes open for me," Forsett said. "I just tried to seize the moment."

The game took on a competitive mood from the start, before ultimately turning combative late. Baltimore opened the scoring in the first quarter when Joe Flacco and Steve Smith, Sr. connected for a 15-yard touchdown pass.

New Orleans (4-7) countered with a scoring drive of their own, capped off by Drew Brees' 10-yard strike to Jimmy Graham.

After Forsett's first touchdown scamper gave the Ravens another lead, the Saints scored 10 straight points to take a 17-14 lead into halftime.

However, Baltimore received the second half kickoff and promptly tied the game on Justin Tucker's 31-yard field goal. The game then took a turn as Brees was picked off by Will Hill, who returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, allowing the Ravens to regain the lead.

A Shayne Graham field goal got New Orleans within one possession, but Forsett broke a 20-yard run off the left side to make it a 34-20 lead with less than three minutes to play. The Baltimore defense would hold strong, only allowing a last minute touchdown pass from Brees. 

Both teams remained at, or near, the top of their division standings. The Ravens are a half game behind Cincinnati (7-3-1) in the AFC North while New Orleans is tied with the Atlanta Falcons (4-7) in the NFC South.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 11/24/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 11/24/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NFL Week 12: Buffalo Bills 38 (6-5) – New York Jets 3 (2-9)

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers 113 (8-5) – Charlotte Hornets 92 (4-11)

Cleveland Cavaliers 106 (6-7) – Orlando Magic 74 (6-10)

Portland Trail Blazers 114 (11-3) – Philadelphia 76ers 104 (0-14)

Toronto Raptors 104 (12-2) – Phoenix Suns 100 (9-6)

Houston Rockets 91 (11-3) – New York Knicks 86 (4-11)

Indiana Pacers 111 (6-8) – Dallas Mavericks 100 (10-5)

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (14-4-2; 30pts) – Boston Bruins 2 (13-9-1; 27pts) OT

New York Islanders 1 (15-6-0; 30pts) – Philadelphia Flyers 0 (8-9-3; 19pts) SO

Detroit Red Wings 4 (11-5-5; 27pts) – Ottawa Senators 3 (9-7-4; 22pts)

Minnesota Wild 4 (12-8-0; 24pts) – Florida Panthers 1 (7-6-6; 20pts)

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L.A. Dodgers Acquire RHP Juan Nicasio from Rockies

L.A. Dodgers Acquire RHP Juan Nicasio from Rockies

iStockphoto(LOS ANGELES) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio from the Colorado Rockies on Monday for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Dodgers designated infielder Ryan Jackson for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Nicasio.

In 33 games with the Rockies last season, Nicasio went 6-6 with a 5.38 ERA. He struck out 63 batters in 93 2/3 innings of work.

The Rockies originally signed Nicasio as an amateur free agent in 2006. In his big league debut against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 28, 2011, he allowed one unearned run across seven frames.

Nicasio is 21-22 over his four-year big league career.

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Report: Red Sox Finalizing Deals with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez

Report: Red Sox Finalizing Deals with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley RamirezBananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Boston Red Sox have made quite the splash early on in free agency. Multiple outlets report that the Boston Red Sox are close to finalizing deals with free agents Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. ESPN reports th...
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