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White Sox DH Paul Konerko Plans to Return Next Week

White Sox DH Paul Konerko Plans to Return Next Week

Leon Halip/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — In the midst of the final weeks of his professional career, Chicago White Sox DH Paul Konerko hopes to return to the team’s lineup next week.

The 38-year-old Konerko has been out of action since Sept. 2 with a broken bone in his left hand when he was tagged out by Minnesota Twins outfielder Danny Santana.

Konerko said he might take some swings on Friday, and thinks that he could rejoin the team next week for a nine-game road trip.

Now in his 18th and final season in Major League Baseball, Konerko’s farewell tour has been plagued with injuries. He’s appeared in just 74 games this season, which will be his lowest mark since 1998.

Konerko is in his 16th season with the White Sox as he joined the club back in 1999, and has been a team staple ever since.

The team captain, Konerko has hit .281 with 432 home runs and 1,383 RBIs, and helped the team win the World Series back in 2005.

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Cardinals LB Abraham Takes Leave, Contemplating Retirement

Cardinals LB Abraham Takes Leave, Contemplating Retirement

David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images(TEMPE, Ariz.) — Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham has taken a leave of absence and told his coach Bruce Arians that he’s losing his desire to play football.

The 36-year-old Abraham, who is the NFL’s all-time active sacks leader (133.5), left the team’s win over the San Diego Chargers in the third quarter Monday with a concussion.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Abraham has dealt with severe memory loss for more than a year.

“I think when you get to that age, and for whatever reason, if that game on Monday Night Football and that atmosphere didn’t have you flying around like always or more, then something is missing,” Arians said. “That’s basically what he reflected to me. He said, ‘There were times in that game I wasn’t in it, and that’s not fair to my teammates. I’ve got to decide if this is what I still really want to do.’”

Abraham was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He’s played in 192 games since then recording 547 tackles, 47 forced fumbles, and one touchdown.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 9/10/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 9/10/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Baltimore Orioles 10 (86-59) – Boston Red Sox 6 (63-83)

Atlanta Braves 6 (75-71) – Washington Nationals 2 (82-62)

Pittsburgh Pirates 6 (76-69) – Philadelphia Phillies 3 (67-78)

New York Yankees 8 (74-69) – Tampa Bay Rays 5 (70-76)

Toronto Blue Jays 11 (76-69) – Chicago Cubs 1 (64-82)

New York Mets 2 (71-75) – Colorado Rockies 0 (59-87)

Cincinnati Reds 4 (69-77) – St. Louis Cardinals 2 (80-66)

Houston Astros 5 (65-81) – Seattle Mariners 2 (79-66)

Chicago White Sox 2 (65-80) – Oakland Athletics 1 (81-64)

Los Angeles Angels 8 (90-55) – Texas Rangers 1 (54-91)

Los Angeles Dodgers 4 (83-63) – San Diego Padres 0 (67-78)

Milwaukee Brewers 4 (75-71) – Miami Marlins 1 (71-73)

Kansas City Royals 3 (80-64) – Detroit Tigers 0 (80-66)

San Francisco Giants 5 (80-65) – Arizona Diamondbacks 0 (59-86)

Minnesota Twins (62-82) @ Cleveland Indians (74-69) (postponed due to rain)

 

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Chen Leads Orioles Past Red Sox,10-6

Chen Leads Orioles Past Red Sox,10-6

iStockphoto(BOSTON) — Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen had a perfect game through 5 1/3 innings as Baltimore (86-59) defeated the Boston Red Sox (63-83) on Wednesday, 10-6.

Chen (15-4) set down the first 16 Red Sox batters he faced before catcher Dan Butler took a 2-0 pitch and sent it off the Green Monster for a double. Chen finished the day allowing three hits and one earned run while striking out four over seven innings of work.

Baltimore scored six runs in the third inning off of Red Sox starter Brandon Workman (1-9). The O’s added two more on catcher Caleb Joseph’s ninth home run of the season.

The Red Sox scored five runs in the ninth. Orioles reliever Darren O’Day recorded his third save of the season by retiring shortstop Xander Bogaerts with two runners on.

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Boudreau Agrees To Contract Extension With Anaheim Ducks

Boudreau Agrees To Contract Extension With Anaheim Ducks

Comstock/Thinkstock(ANAHEIM, Calif.) — The Anaheim Ducks and head coach Bruce Boudreau agreed to a two-year contract extension through the 2016-17 season on Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In two-plus seasons with the Ducks, Boudreau has compiled a record of 111-55-22, capturing the past two Pacific Division crowns. Last season, they lost in seven games to the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference semifinals.

“It certainly means a lot,” Boudreau said about his contract extension on a conference call. “It means the Ducks organization has faith in me leading this team. That’s important going forward. That’s what it really means to me.”

Boudreau previously was the head coach of the Washington Capitals (2007-11).

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Mets Shutdown 3B David Wright

Mets Shutdown 3B David Wright

Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — New York Mets third baseman David Wright was shutdown on Tuesday after being diagnosed with persistent inflammation in his rotator cuff.
Wright has struggled this year at the plate and battled a shoulder …

Luol Deng Responds to Ferry

Luol Deng Responds to Ferry

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Miami Heat forward Luol Deng responded to a recent scouting report that Hawks general manager Danny Ferry read during a June conference call.

Ferry and the Hawks pursued Deng before he signed with Miami last season and apologized on Monday for the racial comments he made in a letter that he sent to Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr.

Deng released a statement on Tuesday.

‘HE HAS A LITTLE AFRICAN IN HIM’

“Ultimately, I’m thankful to be with an organization that appreciates me for who I am and has gone out of its way to make me feel welcome.”

“These words were recently used to describe me. It would ordinarily make any African parent proud to hear their child recognized for their heritage.

“I’m proud to say I actually have a lot of African in me, not just ‘a little.’ For my entire life, my identity has been a source of pride and strength. Among my family and friends, in my country of South Sudan and across the broader continent of Africa, I can think of no greater privilege than to do what I love for a living while also representing my heritage on the highest stage. Unfortunately, the comment about my heritage was not made with the same respect and appreciation.

“Concerning my free agency, the focus should purely have been on my professionalism and my ability as an athlete. Every person should have the right to be treated with respect and evaluated as an individual, rather than be reduced to a stereotype. I am saddened and disappointed that this way of thinking still exists today. I am even more disturbed that it was shared so freely in a business setting.

“However, there is comfort in knowing that there are people who aren’t comfortable with it and have the courage to speak up. In the same way a generalization should not define a group of people, the attitude of a few should not define a whole organization or league.

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Chauncey Billups Announces Retirement

Chauncey Billups Announces Retirement

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The 2004 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, Chauncey Billups, announced his retirement on Tuesday.

“It’s just time. I’m happy, excited. The game was very, very good to me,” Billups told Yahoo! Sports. “I felt like I was equally as good to the game the way I played it and the way I respected it and the way I carried myself through the process.”

Billups played 17 seasons in the NBA for seven different teams, including playing for the Detroit Pistons from 2002-08 and winning a title in 2004.

The 37-year-old averaged 15.2 points, 5.4 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game throughout his career. Originally drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1997, Billups also played for the Pistons, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Clippers.

Billups rejoined the Pistons this past season, averaging 3.8 points and 1.5 rebounds in only 19 games.

Detroit announced in June that they would not be picking up his option for the 2014-15 season.

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Tigers Beat Royals, Earn Tie Atop AL Central

Tigers Beat Royals, Earn Tie Atop AL Central

David Banks/Getty Images(DETROIT) — Max Scherzer gave up just one run in six and two-thirds innings, helping the Detroit Tigers defeat Kansas City 4-2 on Tuesday night. The victory pulled Detroit (80-65) within percentage points of the Royals (79-64) atop the American League Central.

Rajai Davis and J.D. Martinez both homered in the game, as Detroit took a 3-0 lead after two innings. Kansas City made an attempt at a comeback in the fifth on an RBI single by Omar Infante, but could not complete the big inning against Scherzer.

Last year’s Cy Young winner only gave up seven hits and four walks, but did strike out six to improve to 16-5 on the year. Closer Joe Nathan almost gave up the lead, allowing a pair of infield singles in the ninth, but finished the job to earn his 30th save of the year.

The Tigers, who had been scuffling in August, have stayed in the pennant race thanks to impressive play against Kansas City. Detroit is 11-4 this season against the Royals and can sweep their division rivals on Wednesday.

Both teams did leapfrog the Seattle Mariners for the second wild card spot on Tuesday, thanks to Seattle’s 2-1 loss to Houston.

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Mayweather Planning to Retire in 2015

Mayweather Planning to Retire in 2015

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) — Prior to his welterweight title fight against Marcos Maidana this weekend, defending world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. says he is planning to retire at the end of his current six-fight contract.

The fourth bout of that deal is this Saturday, meaning the conclusion of the contract could come in September 2015.

“I only got two more fights left and after the next two fights I just want to build the Mayweather Promotions brand,” Mayweather said.

“I’ll still work with my stable of fighters, still build the Mayweather Promotions brand,” he said. “We have young fighters that we work with.”

The 37-year-old is 46-0 in his professional career with 26 knockouts while holding the claim as boxing’s pound-for-pound king.

This past May, Mayweather beat Maidana by majority decision.

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Team USA Advances to FIBA Semifinals

Team USA Advances to FIBA Semifinals

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(BARCELONA, Spain) — James Harden scored all 14 of his points in the second half while Klay Thompson added 20 points, helping the United States pull away from Slovenia in a 119-76 win in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup on Tuesday.

The game was not as easy as the final score suggests, however. Team USA only led 49-42 at the half, with Slovenia closing the gap to as close as five in the third quarter. However, the Americans would reel off a 27-10 run before scoring the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to make it a 96-64 contest.

“We just stick to the program. We know it’s tough for any team to run with us for 40 minutes because of how deep we are and how hard we work on the floor,” said Stephen Curry. “I think we understand we didn’t make many shots in the first half but our defense was pretty solid, and if we kept the pressure on them, things would open up.”

Team USA shot just 36 percent in the first half, but finished the game at 50 percent, thanks in large part to Thompson’s 20 points. The US will play Lithuania on Thursday in the semifinals.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 9/9/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 9/9/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Washington Nationals 6 (82-61) – Atlanta Braves 4 (74-71)

Minnesota Twins 4 (62-82) – Cleveland Indians 3 (74-69)

Philadelphia Phillies 4 (67-77) – Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (75-69)

Tampa Bay Rays 4 (70-75) – New York Yankees 3 (73-69)

Toronto Blue Jays 9 (75-69) – Chicago Cubs 2 (64-81)

Detroit Tigers 4 (80-65) – Kansas City Royals 2 (79-64)

Baltimore Orioles 4 (85-69) – Boston Red Sox 1 (63-82)

New York Mets 2 (70-75) – Colorado Rockies 0 (59-86)

Cincinnati Reds 9 (68-77) – St. Louis Cardinals 5 (80-65) 

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 9 (89-55) – Texas Rangers 3 (54-90)

Miami Marlins 6 (71-72) – Milwaukee Brewers 3 (74-71)

Oakland Athletics 11 (81-63) – Chicago White Sox 2 (64-80)

San Francisco Giants 5 (79-65) – Arizona Diamondbacks 1 (59-85)

Houston Astros 2 (64-81) – Seattle Mariners 1 (79-65)

San Diego Padres 6 (67-77) – Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (82-63)

 

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Nick Saban Prepares Team for Southern Miss

Nick Saban Prepares Team for Southern Miss

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(TUSCALOOSA, Alabama) — Alabama head coach Nick Saban is preparing his second-ranked team for a showdown with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide are coming off a 41-0 victory over Florida Atlantic and Saban said on Monday that he is sticking with a two-quarterback system of Blake Sims and Jacob Coker.

“We need them both to work to improve, both players did good things in the game and both did things they can improve on,” Saban said of the quarterbacks.

Saban said he was happy with their performance against Florida Atlantic, but he wants to continue to push his team. He also noted what the team needs to improve on as they head into Saturday’s game.

“Finishing drives on offense, tackling a little better on defense,” Saban said.  “Do you have focus, stamina to get better? We have a lot more to prove.”

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Clayton Kershaw Strikes Out 8, Picks Up 18th Win

Clayton Kershaw Strikes Out 8, Picks Up 18th Win

Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw picked up his 18th win on Monday night after he struck out eight in the Dodgers (82-62) 9-4 win over the Padres (66-77).

Kershaw pitched eight innings and gave up three hits and one run in the victory. He also got Rymer Liriano to strike out in the top of the eighth for the final batter of the night.

“It was a good night for us. There wasn’t a whole lot of stress because we got some runs early — and we haven’t had too many of those,” said Kershaw, who lowered his ERA to 1.67, which is an MLB-best. “Obviously when you get that big of a lead, you just want to pound the zone. I got some good plays defensively behind me.”

Kershaw is 15-1 with six complete games in his last 18 starts.

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Marin Cilic Wins US Open Final

Marin Cilic Wins US Open Final

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Fourteenth-seeded Marin Cilic won his first major on Monday night after he defeated 10th-seeded Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 at the U.S. Open.

Cilic used 17 aces and earned $3 million for the win.

“Seems completely unreal,” Cilic said, “to be called ‘Grand Slam champion.’ “

Both Cilic and Nishikori were playing in their first major championship and admitted that they let the pressure get to them at first.

“Both of us were pretty nervous in the first set, especially,” Cilic acknowledged.

“This,” Cilic continued, “is [from] all the hard work in these last several years — and especially this last year.”

Cilic knocked out the top-seeded Novak Djokovic for a chance to compete for the title.

Nishikori was the lowest seed to reach the U.S. Open Final since 17th-seeded Pete Sampras did it in 2002.

“Tennis has not been our biggest sport in Japan,” Nishikori said. “Hopefully I can win next time.”

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Cardinals Edge Chargers, 18-17, on Monday Night

Cardinals Edge Chargers, 18-17, on Monday Night

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(GLENDALE, Ariz.) — Veteran Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer rallied the Cardinals past the Chargers on opening night with a 13-yard touchdown pass to John Brown late in the fourth quarter.

The Cardinals defense did the rest and batted down a Philip Rivers pass on fourth down for the 18-17 win.

“It was a sweet little touchdown,” Palmer said of Browns first-career touchdown. “That’s what he does. He’s so shifty. It’s like somebody’s controlling him with a joystick. He is so quick and so hard to find on those little quick screens.”

Arizona was down 17-6 entering the fourth quarter and Palmers’ two touchdown passes in the fourth gave them the lead for good.

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had only one reception in the fourth quarter, but kept his streak alive at 150 games with at least one reception.

“Too many mistakes. Too many mistakes in crucial times,” Rivers said after the game. “We had plenty of opportunities. Offensively, we had too many mistakes in crucial times that turned into points.”

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Lions Roll Past Giants on Monday Night

Lions Roll Past Giants on Monday Night

Leon Halip/Getty Images(DETROIT) — Matthew Stafford connected with Calvin Johnson twice in the first quarter for touchdowns and never looked back in the Lions 35-14 win over the New York Giants on Monday night.

Stafford passed for 346 yards with two touchdown passes to Johnson in the victory.

“I don’t work on my moves a lot during practice, but I know I have to be better with my feet this year so that we can keep plays alive,” Stafford said. “On both of the touchdown passes to Calvin, the offensive line got me a lot of time, and he was able to uncover himself and find somewhere open.”

Johnson finished with seven receptions, 163 yards, and the two early touchdowns.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who had a career high 27 interceptions last season, added two on opening night and was 18 of 33 for 163 yards with a touchdown.

“No excuses. We played very poorly,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “We don’t have a lot to be proud of here. Couldn’t move the ball, couldn’t stop them, turned the ball over, got into that business again. Got a punt blocked, so you name it. It was a nightmare performance.”

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Scoreboard Roundup – 9/8/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 9/8/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) – NFL: Detroit Lions 35 (1-0) – New York Giants 14 (0-1)

Arizona Cardinals 18 (1-0) – San Diego Chargers 17 (0-1)

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays 8 (74-69) – Chicago Cubs 0 (64-80)

Detroit Tigers 8 (79-65) – Kansas City Royals 5 (79-63)

Los Angeles Angels 12 (88-55) – Cleveland Indians 3 (74-68)

Washington Nationals 2 (81-61) – Atlanta Braves 1 (74-70)

New York Mets 3 (69-75) – Colorado Rockies 2 (59-85)

Pittsburgh Pirates 6 (75-68) – Philadelphia Phillies 4 (66-77)

St. Louis Cardinals 5 (80-64) – Cincinnati Reds 0 (67-77)

Baltimore Orioles 4 (84-59) – Boston Red Sox 0 (63-81)

Miami Marlins 6 (70-72) – Milwaukee Brewers 4 (74-70)

Chicago White Sox 5 (64-79) – Oakland Athletics 4 (80-63)

Los Angeles Dodgers 9 (82-62) – San Diego Chargers 4 (66-77)

Seattle Mariners 4 (79-64) – Houston Astros 1 (63-81) 

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NCAA Lifts Penn State’s Bowl Ban, Scholarship Reduction

NCAA Lifts Penn State’s Bowl Ban, Scholarship Reduction

Justin K. Allen/Getty Images(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) — The NCAA has announced that Penn State University will be eligible for postseason play this season, and all of their scholarships will be returned next season.

This is the second time sanctions have been reduced towards the university in regard to the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

“Penn State has made remarkable progress over the past year,” said South Carolina president Harris Pastides, a member of the NCAA’s board of directors. “The board members and I believe the executive committee’s decision is the right one. It allows both the university and the association to continue to move toward a common goal of ensuring that educating, nurturing and protecting young people is a top priority.”

Prior to the announcement, Penn State would have had 80 scholarships in 2015, and a full 85 in 2016. They also would not have been able to be eligible for postseason play until 2016.

“This is deserved because those penalties were never deserved,” said Jay Paterno, former Penn State assistant and son of the late Joe Paterno. “I am happy for the university and the team. This is a great thing for the university and the football program but there is still a lot to be done and a lot to be corrected. I think the NCAA saying this relief is because of the Mitchell report process is a cover for the fact that there was a faulty Freeh report.”

In July 2012, Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys. He is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence.

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Ravens Terminate Ray Rice’s Contract, NFL Suspends Rice Indefinitely

Ravens Terminate Ray Rice’s Contract, NFL Suspends Rice Indefinitely

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of running back Ray Rice on Monday in wake of TMZ Sports releasing a new video of him punching his then-fiancee in the face in an elevator at a hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also announced Monday that Rice is suspended indefinitely in the wake of the newly released video.

Rice hit Janay Palmer with a left fist to the head. Palmer fell on the hand rail and landed on the floor before Rice is shown dragging her seemingly unconscious body out into the lobby.

On July 25, Rice was suspended by the NFL for two games and fined more than $500,000. The move was highly criticized and led to Goodell instituting a six-game suspension for any first offenders to a domestic abuse case and a lifetime ban for a second offense.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” the NFL released in a statement on Monday regarding the new video.  “That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”

Rice had three years and $10 million remaining on his contract.

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