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Nationals, Angels Clinch Home-Field Advantage

Nationals, Angels Clinch Home-Field Advantage

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — With just two days remaining in the regular season, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Washington Nationals each clinched home-field advantage through the playoffs in their respective leagues on Friday.

For the Nationals (94-66), their double header split with the Miami Marlins earned them the top seed in the National League. Washington got a complete game from Doug Fister in Game One, winning it 4-0 to wrap up home-field until the World Series. Fister allowed just three hits while striking out nine in the win. Miami (77-83) went on to win the nightcap 15-7 in a meaningless game for the Nationals.

The Angels (98-62) could clinch the top seed in the American League with a win over Seattle, but the Mariners hit three home runs and picked up a 4-3 victory. Los Angeles did get home-field advantage however due to Baltimore’s 4-2 loss in Toronto. Leading 4-0 after five innings, the Mariners (85-75) held off a late charge from LA to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Seattle sits two games back of Oakland for the second wild card spot.

This is the second time in three seasons that Washington has the top record in the NL while the Angels clinched the top spot in the AL for the first time since 2008. The American League has home-field advantage in the World Series thanks to a 5-3 win in the All-Star Game.

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Bobby Abreu Announces Retirement

Bobby Abreu Announces Retirement

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Before taking the field with the New York Mets, outfielder Bobby Abreu announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Friday. 

“I have a lot of fun,” Abreu said. “These young guys here are special. Even though I’m 40, they made me feel young. But I realize now that the game is for the next generation.”

The 18-year veteran made his debut in 1996 for the Houston Astros, managed by Terry Collins. His career will come to an end on Sunday, with Collins as his new manager, against the Astros at Citi Field. Adding to the symmetry of his career, Abreu’s first ever hit came against Bobby Jones of the Mets. 

Since then, the 40-year-old has tallied 2,469 total hits, ranking 10th all-time. Of all active players, only Derek Jeter has played more games than Abreu’s 2,423 contests. Abreu was a two-time All-Star and the active leader in career walks (1,475) and doubles (574).

“For sure, Bobby Abreu will be able to walk off the field with his head held high Sunday,” manager Terry Collins said.

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Jeff Taylor Put On Leave By Hornets

Jeff Taylor Put On Leave By Hornets

Jed Jacobson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Charlotte Hornets announced on Friday that they have placed Jeffery Taylor on leave while the NBA investigates his arrest on domestic violence charges. A third-year forward, Taylor will not be allowed to participate in team activities during the investigation.

“We have informed Jeffery Taylor that effective immediately he will not be participating in any team-related activities while the NBA is investigating his conduct in this matter,” the team said in a statement. “As an organization, we understand and appreciate the seriousness of this matter, and will assist the NBA and law enforcement in any way we can until this comes to an acceptable resolution.”

Taylor was charged with one count of domestic assault, one count of assault and one count of malicious destruction of property on Thursday by East Lansing police, stemming from an incident at the East Lansing Marriott. A prosecutor said the police report will not be released during the investigation.

The 25-year-old is originally from Sweden but resides in North Carolina.

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Royals Clinch First Postseason Berth Since 1985

Royals Clinch First Postseason Berth Since 1985

Zoonar/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — For the first time in 29 years, the Kansas City Royals are heading to the playoffs. Kansas City clinched their first postseason berth since 1985 with a 3-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night, ending the longest playoff drought in any of the four major North American sports.

Jeremy Guthrie (13-11) tossed seven scoreless innings for the Royals (88-72), who scored three times in the first inning. Norichika Aoki tripled, scoring Alcides Escobar, while a pair of RBI singles from Lorenzo Cain and Billy Butler added to the advantage.

It the White Sox (72-88) until the eighth inning before finally scoring, getting an RBI single from Alexei Ramirez. In the bottom of the ninth, Greg Holland retired the side in order, getting Michael Taylor to pop up to secure the win. The last time Kansas City was in the postseason, George Brett led the squad to a World Series title over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Royals are still in contention for the AL Central division crown. The Detroit Tigers sit just one game ahead in the standings with two contests left in the regular season.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 9/26/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 9/26/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) – MLB: Washington Nationals 4 (94-65) – Miami Marlins 0 (76-83) – Game 1

Miami Marlins 15 (77-83) – Washington Nationals 7 (94-66) – Game 2

Cleveland Indians 1 (84-76) – Tampa Bay Rays 0 (76-84)

Philadelphia Phillies 5 (73-87) – Atlanta Braves 4 (77-83)

Toronto Blue Jays 4 (82-78) – Baltimore Orioles 2 (95-65)

Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (88-72) – Cincinnati Reds 1 (74-86)

Houston Astros 3 (70-90) – New York Mets 1 (77-83)

Minnesota Twins 11 (69-91) – Detroit Tigers 4 (89-71)

New York Yankees 3 (83-77) – Boston Red Sox 2 (70-90)

Kansas City Royals 3 (88-72) – Chicago White Sox 1 (72-88) 

Oakland Athletics 6 (87-73) – Texas Rangers 2 (66-94)

Chicago Cubs 6 (72-88) – Milwaukee Brewers 4 (81-79) 

Seattle Mariners 4 (85-75) – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3 (98-62)

San Diego Padres 4 (77-83) – San Francisco Giants 1 (86-74)

St. Louis Cardinals 7 (89-71) – Arizona Diamondbacks 6 (63-97)

Los Angeles Dodgers 7 (92-68) – Colorado Rockies 4 (66-94)

 

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Diamondbacks Fire Manager Kirk Gibson

Diamondbacks Fire Manager Kirk Gibson

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(PHOENIX) — The Arizona Diamondbacks fired manager Kirk Gibson on Friday after hiring new general manager Dave Stewart.

Gibson won the NL’s manager of the year award three years ago after leading Arizona to the playoffs.

“Kirk has done an admirable job under difficult circumstances, and we are grateful for his professionalism and his dedicated service to the organization over the past eight years,” chief baseball officer Tony La Russa said in a statement.

“We feel like it is time for a fresh start, and with our recent restructuring in baseball operations, we want to get started immediately moving in a new direction. We are also appreciative of Alan Trammell for all that he has done for the D-backs and have great respect for what both men have accomplished in the game of baseball.”

Gibson had a 353-375 record during four seasons with the club.

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Diamondbacks Hire Dave Stewart as New General Manger

Diamondbacks Hire Dave Stewart as New General Manger

Tom Szcaerbowski/Getty Images(PHOENIX) — The Arizona Diamondbacks are turning to former starting pitcher Dave Stewart to help turn the franchise around as the team has hired him to become their new general manager.

Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa believes Stewart is the right man for the job.

“I’ve known Stew for nearly three decades,” La Russa said in the team’s statement, “and his diverse background includes championships on the field both as a player and coach, in the front office and in contract negotiations as a player representative.”

Stewart becomes the fourth general manager in franchise history. He is the only current general manager to play and coach in the majors, and is the fourth active general manager to have played in the Major Leagues.

The team also named De Jon Watson senior vice president/baseball operations.

The Diamondbacks have been an inconsistent franchise in recent years. In 2014, they are facing another lost season as they sit at 63-96 heading into Friday night, which is the worst record in all of baseball.

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Hurricanes Center Jordan Staal Out 3-4 Months with Broken Leg

Hurricanes Center Jordan Staal Out 3-4 Months with Broken Leg

A.J. Messier/NHLI via Getty Images(RALEIGH, N.C.) — The regular season hasn’t even begun and the Carolina Hurricanes are already dealing with a devastating injury to one of their best players as center Jordan Staal will miss the next three to four months with a broken bone in his right leg.

Staal suffered the injury Tuesday in the team’s preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres.

“I’m concerned for sure. He’s a big piece of what we’re going to do moving forward,” Hurricanes’ head coach Bill Peters said before learning of the severity of the injury.

Staal is a two-player, who is entering his third season in Carolina. Last season, he played in all 82 games, and hasn’t missed a regular season game since  joining the team. He scored 15 goals and totaled 40 points, while finishing fifth among Hurricanes last season.

Staal’s brother Eric is also a member of the Hurricanes, and he’s also working his way back from an injury. He is expected to play in the team’s preseason game on Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues.

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Giants Put Away the Redskins, 45-14

Giants Put Away the Redskins, 45-14

Elsa/Getty Images(LANDOVER, Md.) — The New York Giants offense was better than expected as the team took apart the Washington Redskins on Thursday night, 45-14.

Quarterback Eli Manning had his best game of the early season. Manning went 28 for 39 with 300 passing yards, throwing four touchdowns, and running for another.

Despite the big game for Manning, the star for the Giants was arguably un-drafted free agent tight end Larry Donnell. On Thursday night, he hauled in seven catches for 54 yards, including three touchdowns.

“That was the whole thing, to be able to leave here tonight and be 2-2 and 1-0 in the division. That was huge,” Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. “It’s exciting to be in the hunt, and by being able to come out of here with a win, hopefully we have a chance to be.”

As well as Manning played, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins struggled mightily. In his second start of the season, Cousins completed just 19 of 33 passes for 257 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions.

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Jeter Ends Career at Yankee Stadium in Dramatic Fashion

Jeter Ends Career at Yankee Stadium in Dramatic Fashion

Elsa/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — No one was sure when Derek Jeter should be taken off the Yankee Stadium field for the last time, so Jeter handled the issue himself.

Jeter hit a walk-off RBI single to give the New York Yankees a 6-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles in his final game in pinstripes Thursday.

It looked like Jeter’s night was going to end earlier. The Yankees went into the ninth inning with a three run lead, but Adam Jones hit a two-run homer and Steve Pearce tied the game with a solo blast, allowing Jeter the opportunity for one last at-bat.

Rookie Jose Pirela opened up the bottom of the inning with a single and was lifted for pinch-runner Antoan Richardson, who advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Brett Gardner. Jeter then came up and swung at the first pitch, lining it into right field and giving Richardson just enough time to score the winning run.

After celebrating with his teammates, Jeter shared pleasantries with former teammates Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez and ex-manager Joe Torre.

While Jeter’s career at Yankee Stadium is over, his time in the major leagues isn’t. Jeter and the Yankees finish out their season with three games against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 9/25/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 9/25/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) –NFL: Giants 45 (2-2) – Redskins 14 (1-3)

Top 25 College Football: (11) UCLA 62 (4-0) – (15) Arizona State 27 (3-1) 

(24) Oklahoma State 45 (3-1) – Texas Tech 35 (2-2)

MLB: Cincinnati Reds 5 (74-85) – Milwaukee Brewers 3 (81-78)

New York Mets 7 (77-81) – Washington Nationals 4 (92-65) – Game One

Washington Nationals 3 (93-65) – New York Mets 0 (77-82) – Game Two

Seattle Mariners 7 (84-75) – Toronto Blue Jays 5 (81-78)

Miami Marlins 6 (76-82) – Philadelphia Phillies 4 (72-87)

New York Yankees 6 (82-77) – Baltimore Orioles 5 (95-64)

Detroit Tigers 4 (89-70) – Minnesota Twins 2 (68-91)

Pittsburgh Pirates 10 (87-72) – Atlanta Braves 1 (77-82)

Boston Red Sox 11 (70-89) – Tampa Bay Rays 1 (76-83)

Texas Rangers 2 (66-93) – Oakland Athletics 1 (86-73)

Kansas City Royals 6 (87-62) – Chicago White Sox 3 (72-87)

San Francisco Giants 9 (86-73) – San Diego Padres 8 (76-83)

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NASCAR’s Chase Continues at the Monster Mile

NASCAR’s Chase Continues at the Monster Mile

BananaStock(DOVER, Del.) — NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup championship continues this Sunday afternoon with the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. It’s the third race in the 10-race Chase.

Joey Logano won last week’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He will join his Team Penske teammate, Brad Keselowski, who won the opener at Chicagoland Speedway, with automatic bids into the second round.

Aric Almirola is currently 16th in the 16-driver Chase field. “Our goal is to transfer to that next round, but we can’t really worry about what everybody else is doing,” Almirola said during a teleconference. “All we can do is worry about ourselves.”

After the race, the field will be whittled down to 12 drivers.

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Raiders ‘Host’ Dolphins at Wembley Stadium

Raiders ‘Host’ Dolphins at Wembley Stadium

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(LONDON) — The Oakland Raiders will “host” the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. 

Oakland was designated the “home” team for their game and both teams are looking forward to the opportunity of showcasing the NFL to new fans.

Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr wants to get his first win of the season anyway possible.

“I’ll throw five touchdowns or five picks,” Carr said Wednesday.  “I could care less, I just want to win, that’s all this game is about, that’s all that matters in the NFL.”

“It’s a good football team,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said of Miami. “They like to pressure the quarterback; we’ve got to understand what they’re trying to do.  We’ve got to take care of the front-four; we’ve got to be able to make some plays down the field when we get some opportunities.”

The Raiders are coming off a 16-9 loss last week against New England.

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Sports Broadcast Schedule 9/25 – 9/29

Sports Broadcast Schedule 9/25 – 9/29

Sports Broadcast Schedule 9/25-9/29 Thursday, September 25 NFL Football- New York Giants @ Washington Redskins 6:00 p.m. Friday, September 26 High School Football- Madison Bobcats @ Blackfoot Broncos 6:45 p.m. Saturday, September 27 NCAA Football- Stanford Cardinal @ Washington Huskies 2:00 p.m. Sunday, September 28 NFL Football- Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers 2:00 p.m. […]

Kershaw Wins 21st, Dodgers Clinch NL West

Kershaw Wins 21st, Dodgers Clinch NL West

Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the NL West title for the second year in a row after a 9-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw tossed eight innings, had 11 strike outs, improved to 21-3 and headed right into the clubhouse for the celebration.

“You can’t take lightly what we did,” a soaked Kershaw said. “You got to celebrate accomplishments and that’s what we did. It’s really fun to celebrate with these guys.”

Kershaw hit his first career triple to tie the game at 1-1 in the fifth inning.

“It was tiring,” Kershaw said of his triple. “I don’t want to do that again. It’ll take a double.”

Manager Don Mattingly celebrated a division title as a manager for the second straight year and was proud of his team’s effort all season.

“We want to win a world championship but the first step in that is winning your division,” Mattingly said.

San Francisco’s magic number to clinch a wild card spot went down to one game after the loss.

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Suns Agree to 5-Year Deal with Eric Bledsoe

Suns Agree to 5-Year Deal with Eric Bledsoe

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Phoenix Suns have agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal with restricted free-agent guard Eric Bledsoe.

The deal comes after an offseason that was filled with rumors of Bledsoe leaving Phoenix. In the end, he gets the largest restricted free-agent contract this offseason.

Bledsoe only played in 43 games last season because of a torn meniscus. When he was in the lineup, the Suns were noticeably better, going 28-15 compared to 20-19 without him.

The 24-year-old finished the 2013-14 season averaging 17.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.6 steals.

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Tannehill Dislikes How Philbin Handled Quarterback Question

Tannehill Dislikes How Philbin Handled Quarterback Question

Leon Halip/Getty Images(DAVIE, Fla.) — Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill isn’t a fan of the way his head coach didn’t declare him the starter for Sunday’s game against the Raiders.

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was asked multiple times this week if Tannehill would be the starting quarterback on Sunday, but the third-year head coach declined to respond.

“Obviously, it doesn’t feel good,” Tannehill said when talking about Philbin’s lack of response. “It creates a bunch of stir (and) a bunch of distraction in the locker room — mostly from the outside coming in and guys having to deal with the distraction of it. So it’s not a good feeling.”

Tannehill has said he has since talked with Philbin and it appears the 26-year-old will start Sunday in London.

This is Tannehill’s third season with the Dolphins. During that time, he has made 35 starts going 16-19, while completing 59.1% of his passes.

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Stepan Out 4 to 6 Weeks with Broken Leg

Stepan Out 4 to 6 Weeks with Broken Leg

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post(NEW YORK) — New York Rangers center Derek Stepan is out four to six weeks after fracturing his left fibula during a conditioning drill Wednesday.

Stepan was dealing with a previous leg injury that caused him to miss a scrimmage on Sunday and preseason game on Monday. He was then cleared to practice Wednesday but suffered a non-contact injury during a sprint.

Stepan had three x-rays before getting hurt.

“Everything looked normal and good to go,” Rangers head coach Alain Vigneaul said. “Then he stepped on the ice and unfortunately got hurt.”

The 24-year-old Stepan played in 82 games for the Rangers last season, scoring 17 goals and dishing out a career-high 40 assists.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 9/24/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 9/24/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Baltimore Orioles 9 (95-63) – New York Yankees 5 (81-77)

Detroit Tigers 6 (88-70) – Chicago White Sox 1 (72-88)

Minnesota Twins 2 (68-90) – Arizona Diamondbacks 1 (63-96)

Los Angeles Angels 5 (98-61) – Oakland Athletics 4 (86-72)

Toronto Blue Jays 1 (81-77) – Seattle Mariners 0 (83-75)

Cleveland Indians 6 (83-76) – Kansas City Royals 4 (86-72)

Milwaukee Brewers 5 (81-77) – Cincinnati Reds 0 (73-85)

Philadelphia Phillies 2 (72-86) – Miami Marlins 1 (75-82)

Atlanta Braves 6 (77-81) – Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (86-72)

Boston Red Sox 11 (69-89) – Tampa Bay Rays 3 (76-82)

Chicago Cubs 3 (71-88) – St. Louis Cardinals 1 (88-71)

New York Mets (76-81) – Washington Nationals (92-64) (postponed due to rain)

Texas Rangers 5 (65-93) – Houston Astros 1 (69-90)

San DiegoPadres 4 (76-82) – Colorado Rockies 3 (66-93)

Los Angeles Dodgers 9 (91-68) – San Francisco Giants 1 (85-73)

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Hurricanes’ Jordan Staal Breaks Leg

Hurricanes’ Jordan Staal Breaks Leg

A.J. Messier/NHLI via Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal broke his lower right leg during Tuesday night’s preseason game against the Sabres, general manager Ron Francis confirmed.

Francis added there is no timetable for Staal’s return.

“I’m concerned for sure. He’s a big piece of what we’re going to do moving forward,” new coach Bill Peters said following their game.

Staal will travel with the team on Wednesday for their game against the Islanders and then be evaluated by doctors on Thursday.

Staal was entering his third season with the Hurricanes and scored 15 goals with 25 assists last year.

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