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K.C. Royals Sweep the Orioles in the ALCS

K.C. Royals Sweep the Orioles in the ALCS

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The Kansas City Royals are the kings of the American League.

The Royals defeated the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday to punch their ticket to the World Series for the first time since 1985.

Royals starter Jason Vargas along with relievers Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland held the Orioles to just four hits. Kansas City pushed across two runs in the first inning on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error by Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph.

Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain was named the ALCS MVP after going 8-for-15 (.555), with two doubles and five runs scored.

The Royals will play the winner of the San Francisco Giants-St. Louis Cardinals NLCS matchup in the World Series.

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Jets Hope to Snap Losing Streak in New England

Jets Hope to Snap Losing Streak in New England

Nick Lahem/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Jets are hoping to avoid a sixth consecutive loss on Thursday night when they take on the New England Patriots.

The Patriots are looking for their sixth consecutive regular season home victory over the Jets.

There has been much criticism over head coach Rex Ryan going with second year starter Geno Smith instead of veteran Michael Vick, but Ryan has faith he'll turn it around.

"I think Geno is the best way to go right now," Ryan said. "That's why I'm comfortable saying he will be our starter."

Ryan said this week that the team doesn't need any extra motivation and believes in his team.

"It's going to be there. Both teams don't like each other," Ryan said.  "There's respect for each other, but I don't think you really like each other. We know we have to be at our very best."

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Pistons’ Jodie Meeks Out 8 Weeks

Pistons’ Jodie Meeks Out 8 Weeks

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(AUBURN HILLS, Mich.) -- Detroit Pistons guard Jodie Meeks will be out eight weeks due to a stress fraction in his lower back, the team announced on Tuesday.

The injury was discovered following a CAT scan conducted on Monday by team medical personnel, the Pistons said.

Detroit gave Meeks a three-year deal worth $19.5 million this offseason and he will be re-evaluated on a regular basis as the season progresses.

Meeks has a career averages of 9.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 24.3 minutes in 355 games with 194 starts.

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Royals One Game Away From World Series

Royals One Game Away From World Series

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Jeremy Guthrie pitched five innings of one-run ball, and pinch runner Jarrod Dyson scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth, as the Kansas City Royals topped the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 Tuesday to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.Baltimore got on the board first in the second inning when shortstop J.J. Hardy's double drove in teammate Steve Pearce. The score stayed that way until the fourth inning, when the Royals loaded the bases, before Alex Gordon grounded into a fielder's choice to score Lorenzo Cain.The Royals took the lead for good in the sixth when Dyson scored on Billy Butler's sac fly.Jason Frasor (W, 1-0), Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland (S, 3) all pitched an inning of scoreless relief for the Royals.Wei-Yin Chen took the loss, pitching 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits, two earned runs, and one walk while striking out four.The Royals can clinch their first trip to the World Series since 1985 on Wednesday. Kansas City sends Jason Vargas to the mound. He will be opposed by Miguel Gonzalez.

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Giants Grab 2-1 NLCS Lead on Throwing Error

Giants Grab 2-1 NLCS Lead on Throwing Error

Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Randy Choate's throwing error in the bottom of the tenth allowed Brandon Crawford to score and give the San Francisco Giants a 5-4 win in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) on Tuesday. With the victory, the Giants now hold a 2-1 series lead over the St. Louis Cardinals.

San Francisco had to battle for the win despite putting up four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Travis Ishikawa hit a three-run double off Cardinals starting pitcher John Lackey, giving the Giants the early 4-0 advantage. St. Louis' veteran righty would settle down and wait as his team found a way to get back into the game.

The rally began in the top of the fourth when Kolton Wong tripled off the right field wall, plating both John Jay and Matt Holliday. San Francisco's Tim Hudson would get out of the inning but gave up another run on Jhonny Peralta's RBI single in the sixth, making it a 4-3 Giants lead.

Hudson, making the first LCS start in his 16-year career, got the first out of the seventh before Randal Grichuk homered to tie the game. That chased Hudson from the game and left it in the hands of the bullpen.

After St. Louis stranded the go-ahead run on base in the top of the tenth, Crawford worked a leadoff walk from the newly inserted Choate (0-1) in the bottom of the frame. Juan Perez then singled to put runners and first and second with nobody out.

That would bring up Gregor Blanco, who dropped a bunt down just the third-base side of the mound. As Choate went to field the ball, the lefty's throw went up the right field line, allowing Crawford to score the game-winning run. Sergio Romo (1-0) got the win by getting the final out in the top of the tenth inning.

Both teams meet in Game 4 on Wednesday night at 8:07 p.m. ET in San Francisco. Shelby Miller (0-0, 3.18 ERA) takes the ball for St. Louis while the Giants turn to Ryan Vogelsong (0-0, 1.59).

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/14/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/14/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: NLCS: San Francisco Giants 5 - St. Louis Cardinals 4 in 10 Innings (Giants Lead Series, 2-1)

NHL: New York Islanders 6 (3-0-0, 6 points) - New York Rangers 3 (1-3-0, 2 points)

Anaheim Ducks 4 (3-1-0, 6 points) - Philadelphia Flyers 3 (0-2-2, 2 points) Shootout

San Jose Sharks 6 (3-0-0, 6 points) - Washington Capitals 5 (1-0-2, 4 points) Shootout

Dallas Stars 4 (1-1-1, 3 points) - Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (2-1-0, 4 points)

Toronto Maple Leafs 3 (2-2-0, 4 points) - Colorado Avalance 2 (1-2-1, 3 points) Overtime

New Jersey Devils 2 (3-0-0, 6 points) - Tampa Bay Lightning 1 (2-1-1, 5 points)

Buffalo Sabres 4 (1-3-0, 2 points) - Carolina Hurricanes 3 (0-2-1, 1 point) Shootout

 

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Keselowski, Stewart Fined for Postrace Altercation

Keselowski, Stewart Fined for Postrace Altercation

BannanaStock(NEW YORK) -- Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart were fined on Tuesday for their altercation following Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Charlotte.

Stewart was fined $25,000 while Keselowski was hit with a $50,000 penalty. NASCAR issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the fines were "about maintaining a safe environment following the race."

Keselowski was involved in a pair of incidents on Saturday after the checkered flag, including a skirmish with Denny Hamlin.

After hitting Matt Kenseth on pit road, the 2012 Sprint Cup champion inadvertently bumped into Stewart's car. Stewart retaliated by putting his car into reverse and backing into Keselowski.

Hamlin later followed Keselowski into the pits and was held back from confronting him, while Kenseth jumped Keselowski from behind. Members of both pit crews eventually broke up the ordeal.

Neither Hamlin nor Kenseth were disciplined.

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Panthers Greg Olsen Wants Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict Suspended

Panthers Greg Olsen Wants Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict Suspended

David Lee/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has had enough of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vantaze Burfict's antics on the field and would like to see him suspended.

Olsen feels Burfict should be subject to punishment for trying to intentionally injure him as well as other members of the Panthers.

There are videos out there that have shown Burfict twisting and "cranking" the ankles of Olsen and quarterback Cam Newton after each player scored a touchdown.

"Punishment needs to go beyond a fine," Olsen said on Monday. "Guys like that don't learn from that stuff. He's been fined a 100 times for head-hunting, and he did it to Kelvin [Benjamin] again. You watch the film; that's just what he is."

"At some point, if the NFL wants to really say they care about guys' safety, they've got to start putting guys out for weeks. Me and Cam are lucky we aren't out for weeks, or Kelvin isn't out for weeks. If you're going to start putting guys on other teams out, then the ramifications need to equal that," he continued.

Burfict has been fined multiple times during his career for hits on defenseless players.

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Patriots Lose Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley for the Season

Patriots Lose Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley for the SeasonComstock/Thinkstock(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- The injuries keep coming for the New England Patriots as ESPN reports New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley and linebacker Jerod Mayo will miss the rest of the season because of knee injuries. Ridley ...

Dolphins Running Back Knowshon Moreno Out for Season

Dolphins Running Back Knowshon Moreno Out for Season

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After just three games in his first season in Miami, Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

Moreno returned to the Dolphins lineup Week 6 after missing the previous two games with an elbow injury. He carried the ball six times last Sunday for just ten yards before suffering the injury.

The 27-year-old Moreno will finish this season with 148 rushing yards on 31 attempts and just one touchdown.

After a career-year last season with the Denver Broncos, Moreno signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins during the offseason and was counted on to be their feature back.

Taking over for Moreno will be third-year running back Lamar Miller. Fortunately for the Dolphins, Miller has been very effective in relief of Moreno. In five games this season, Moreno has 330 rushing yards on 63 carries while scoring 3 touchdowns. He also has 15 catches this season.

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Stamkos Hat Trick Leads Rout of Canadiens

Stamkos Hat Trick Leads Rout of Canadiens

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(TAMPA BAY, FL) -- Steven Stamkos led an offensive onslaught over the Montreal Canadiens that spearheaded a 7-1 Tampa Bay Lightning win at Amalie Arena.

Stamkos recorded a hat trick, the eighth of his career. His third goal came with 1:46 remaining in the second period, when he fired a shot from the right circle that gave the Lightning a 4-1 lead.  

"I've learned over the years that if you stick with it, usually the floodgates open," Stamkos said.

Stamkos is now tied with Martin St. Louis for franchise record in hat tricks.

The Lightning are 2-0-1 on the season. 

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Chip Hale Named Manager of Diamondbacks

Chip Hale Named Manager of Diamondbacks

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(PHOENIX, AZ) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks have named Chip Hale as the new manager of their baseball franchise.

After finishing 64-98 last season under Kirk Gibson, who was fired with three games remaining in the season, the Diamondbacks tabbed the 49-year-old Hale to lead the team.  Hale spent the least three seasons as the third base coach for the Oakland Athletics.

In May, Arizona named Tony La Russa as the chief baseball officer.  After the season, the Diamondbacks fired GM Kevin Towers and named Dave Stewart as his replacement.

"When you walk into a room like that and you sit down to talk baseball you know this is the place you want to be." Hale said, in reference to working with La Russa, Stewart and special assistant to the team president Luiz Gonzalez.

Under the leadership of Towers and Gibson the Diamondbacks were 353-375.  While the team has promising players such as Mark Trumbo and Paul Goldschmidt, La Russa, Hale and Stewart will have work to do bringing in players that fit Arizona's style of play.

"We wanted a guy that would give us our best chance to communicate with the players that we have in our clubhouse," Stewart said of Hale. "The chemisty in our clubhouse is important and the guy that leads that chemistry is important."

 

 

 

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Geno Smith Blames Media for Poor Play

Geno Smith Blames Media for Poor Play

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Expectations have not been met this far for the New York Jets and their fans. After a surprising 8-8 season in 2013, hopes were high entering 2014.

This season the team is 1-5, currently on a five game losing streak. As the team prepares to face their division rival New England Patriots, Geno Smith spoke with the New England media via conference call. 

When asked about his roller coaster play, Smith did not shoulder all of the blame but pointed the finger at the media.

"For me, it hasn’t been," Smith said, according to a transcript of the call. "I think, obviously, with everything that goes on with the media, a lot of things are, I would say, miscommunicated, and then it just gets misprinted and then misunderstood.

"I don’t have any quarrels with anything. The main thing is that we just have to find a way to get a win. The hardest part about it all is losing. With the effort, the time that we put in, the preparation that we put in throughout the week, coming up with game plans -- we always have a really good game plan going in -- and then obviously we haven’t executed as well as we’d like. Those things are tougher than I guess what can be said and what is portrayed out there in the media." 

Smith can point fingers, but the stats do not lie: In six games this season, Smith has six touchdowns, seven interceptions and completed 57% of his passes.

 

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49ers Defeat Rams 31-17

49ers Defeat Rams 31-17

NFL via Getty Images(ST. LOUIS, MO) -- The Rams came out fast taking a a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but the 49ers dominated the other three quarters to win 31-17.

Colin Kaepernick took San Francisco on his shoulders and threw three touchdowns to push the 49ers record to 4-2.  Midway through the second quarter, Brandon Lloyd burned Janoris Jenkins in man coverage and Kaepernick threw it to him in stride. Lloyd outran Jenkins for an 80-yard touchdown that narrowed St. Louis's lead to 14-10. 

"We had Brandon Lloyd on a double move," Kaepernick said. "We liked the matchup. He did an amazing job."

Kaepernick and the 49ers came out in the second half on a mission.  The 49ers marched 80 yards down the field on a twelve-play drive that was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown grab by Anquan Boldin from Kaepernick. 

"Our receivers did a great job today," Kaepernick said. "Our offensive line did a great job, protecting us and giving us time."

The Rams were again held without a sack.  What was hyped in the offseason as one of the best four-man defensive fronts in the NFL has continued to struggle to generate a pass rush. 

The 49ers will now travel to Denver to face the Broncos on Sunday night.

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Winston Under Investigation for Autograph Signings

Winston Under Investigation for Autograph Signings

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Florida State University compliance department is investigating how an authentication site received more than 340 items reportedly signed by quarterback Jameis Winston. 

Head coach Jimbo Fisher apporached Winston after the team's 38-20 win at Syracuse and asked if the quarterback was paid for his signatures. Winston reportedly denied that he received any money and his head coach expressed no concern in a postgame press conference.

Of the items that have been authenticated, many include the Florida State logo. According to reports, 75 mini helmets, over 50 jerseys and more than 76 Florida State logo footballs are among the pieces of memorabilia listed for sale.

The website, James Spence Authentication, also received over 500 items signed by University of Georgia running back Todd Gurley. The school suspended Gurley indefinitely as it conducts its own investigation.

Winston is already facing a disciplinary hearing from the university regarding his alleged 2012 sexual assault case. The second-ranked Seminoles host fifth-ranked Notre Dame this weekend in a battle of unbeaten teams.

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ALCS Game 3 Postponed Due to Rain

ALCS Game 3 Postponed Due to Rain

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Game Three of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) was postponed Monday night due to rain in Kansas City. The Royals currently lead the Baltimore Orioles two games to none in the best-of-seven series.

The game was rescheduled for Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. at Kauffman Stadium. Jeremy Guthrie will get the start for Kansas City while Baltimore will send Wei-Yin Chen to the hill. Major League Baseball Senior Vice President Peter Woodfork said the decision was made, in part, with the players and fans in mind.

"We want a game we know we can get through nine innings, hopefully play dry baseball, not risk player safety or uncomfortable fans," noted Woodfork.

This change in schedule also shifts Game 4 to Wednesday and Game 5, if necessary, to Thursday. The final two games of the series, if needed, will be played in Baltimore on Friday (Game 6) and Saturday (Game 7).

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/13/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/13/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: ALCS: Kansas City Royals - Baltimore Orioles (Royals lead series, 2-0) Postponed

NFL: San Francisco 49ers 31 (4-2) - St. Louis Rams 17 (1-4)

NHL: Anaheim Ducks 5 (2-1-0, 4 points) - Buffalo Sabres 1 (0-3-0, 0 points)

Colorado Avalanche 2 (1-2-0, 2 points) - Boston Bruins 1 (1-3-0, 2 points)

Ottawa Senators 1 (2-1-0, 4 points) - Florida Panthers 0 (0-2-1, 0 points)

Tampa Bay Lightning 7 (2-0-1, 5 points) - Montreal Canadiens 1 (3-1-0, 6 points)

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Mavericks’ Rick Carlisle Apologizes for Calling Out Chandler Parsons

Mavericks’ Rick Carlisle Apologizes for Calling Out Chandler Parsons

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- A couple of days after criticizing newly-signed forward Chandler Parsons for his weight and conditioning, Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle has apologized for his comments.

"An increase of 18 to 20 pounds is just too much," Carlisle said Friday night. "We talked about it today. We talk about it a lot. He'll get there, but he looked tired out there and a little heavy-legged, and the extra 7 or 8 pounds aren't helping."

Carlisle realized he was wrong to publicly criticize Parsons, and promptly apologized.

"It was unfair and inappropriate to single out Chandler Parsons after the game Friday night," Carlisle wrote in a statement issued Sunday afternoon. "I have apologized to him and the entire team for this error in judgment. Not only is Chandler Parsons one of our best players, he is also one of our hardest working players and the kind of high-character person we strive to bring to our city and franchise."

Parsons, who signed a three-year deal with the Mavericks this past summer worth $46 million, says he has moved on from the incident.

"It just shows what kind of guy he is," Parsons said of Carlisle's apology. "We're in this together. Everybody makes mistakes, and he came to me as a man. We have a great relationship. It's in the past, and we're going to move forward. It's over with."

Last season with the Houston Rockets, Parsons averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game.

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Pistons’ Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Out with Sprained Knee

Pistons’ Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Out with Sprained Knee

Jed Jacobson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope suffered a sprain in his left knee during the team's preseason game against the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

After Caldwell-Pope fell underneath Washington's basket, he needed assistance getting back to the locker room.

"We'll re-evaluate it going forward," Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We'll get him an MRI and we'll go from there [to] see what's going on. ...You go through these things, everybody goes through them."

After averaging 5.9 points per game last season as a rookie, Caldwell-Pope was averaging 16.7 points in the Piston's first three preseason games.

Caldwell-Pope was the eighth overall selection by the Pistons back in 2013 out of Georgia. He was primed to see an expanded role behind Jodie Meeks in the guard rotation.

It is unknown just how long he'll be out of action as the Pistons begin their regular season on Oct. 29.

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Wild Reward Defenseman Jonas Brodin with Contract Extension

Wild Reward Defenseman Jonas Brodin with Contract Extension

A.J. Messier/NHLI via Getty Images(ST. PAUL, Minn.) -- Only in his second full season in the NHL, the Minnesota Wild have already determined they want defenseman Jonas Brodin around for the long-term as they've given him a new contract.

Still just 21 years old, Brodin and the Wild have agreed on a six-year extension worth $25 million. Brodin's new deal will keep him under contract through the 2020-2021 season.

“We are very excited to get Jonas Brodin signed through the 2020-21 season,” said Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher. “He is one of the premier young defensemen in the NHL and has played a huge role on our team since entering the league as a 19-year-old. We’re confident that his game will continue to evolve in all areas and he will be a valuable part of our core for years to come.”

Brodin has performed very well for the Wild since his rookie season. Through 126 games, Brodin has 10 goals, 21 assists and a plus-8 rating.

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