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Kyle Busch Takes the Poll at Loudon

Kyle Busch Takes the Poll at Loudon

Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(LOUDON, N.H.) — Less than a week after being upside down, Kyle Busch finds himself at the head of the pack prior to Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Busch won the poll for Sunday’s event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway by setting a new track record.
Busch posted a top lap speed of 138.130 mph, winning his second poll of the season. Jimmie Johnson will start alongside him while Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, and Jamie McMurray round out the top five. The first place start comes less than a week after Busch’s race came to an early close. The No. 18 car was involved in a 25-car wreck last week at Daytona, one that resulted in Busch ending up upside down.
“I thought it was a little bit tight but I guess I was driving through it enough that it was still carrying good speed,” Busch said. “Lap felt good. It didn’t feel that good, but it felt good.”
The record time marked the 13th time this season a track record has been broken during qualifying at a NASCAR event. Also qualifying was 72-year-old Morgan Shepard, who made the field when the 44th entrant dropped out. When the race begins Sunday, Shepard will extend his own record as the oldest driver to take part in a Sprint Cup race.
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Tanaka Apologies to Fans for Injury

Tanaka Apologies to Fans for Injury

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A day after being diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his pitching arm, Masahiro Tanaka issued an apology to both the New York Yankees and their fans on Friday. Tanaka was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday before the official determination was made.
“I give everything I have every time I take the ball. With that, I also know that there will always be a risk of injury when playing this game that I love,” said Tanaka. “Right now I feel that the most important thing for me is to keep my head up, remain focused on the task at hand and devote all my energy into healing the injury in order to come back strong.”
Yankees owner Brian Cashman said the righty could return in as little as six weeks but also acknowledged the possibility of Tommy John surgery. Tanaka saw three separate doctors on Thursday, including head team physician, Dr. Christopher S. Ahmad, and each agreed on a timetable of six weeks.
Tanaka is currently 12-4 on the year with a 2.51 earned run average and was recently voted to the Major League All-Star Game. He now joins a list of ever growing Yankees on the DL, including three other starting pitchers.
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Vince Carter to Join Grizzlies

Vince Carter to Join Grizzlies

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Not to be lost in the madness that was LeBron James’ announcement, Vince Carter is also reportedly on the move. Sources say the veteran shooter spent Friday finalizing a three-year deal to join the Memphis Grizzlies.
Sources say the contract is worth $12.2 million per year, luring Carter away from the Dallas Mavericks. Memphis had attempted to get the shooting guard via a trade in 2013 but ended with Tayshaun Price after Dallas backed out of the talks. The Grizzlies were also hoping that Mike Miller would re-sign, but the small forward informed the team that he would not return for next season.
The Mavs were hoping to re-sign Carter by utilizing the cap-room exception owrth $2.7 million per year. Reports say that Carter had told Dallas that he would return to the team for a two-year deal worth $8 million. However, that number would only be possible if the Houston Rockets chose to match the offer give to Chandler Parsons.
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Scoreboard Roundup – 7/11/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 7/11/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Chicago Cubs 5 (40-52) – Atlanta Braves 4 (50-43)
Philadelphia Phillies 6 (42-51) – Washington Nationals 2 (49-42)
New York Mets 7 (43-50) – Miami Marlins 1 (44-48)
Baltimore Orioles 3 (51-41) – New York Yankees 2 (46-46) – 10 Innings
Cincinnati Reds 6 (50-43) – Pittsburgh Pirates 5 (48-45)
Cleveland Indians 7 (46-46) – Chicago White Sox 4 (44-50)
Toronto Blue Jays 8 (49-45) – Tampa Bay Rays 5 (42-53)
Los Angeles Angels 3 (55-37) – Texas Rangers 0 (38-55)
Detroit Tigers 2 (52-37) – Kansas City Royals 1 (47-45)
Boston Red Sox 8 (42-51) – Astros 3 (39-55)
Colorado Rockies 6 (40-53) – Minnesota Twins 2 (42-50)
St. Louis Cardinals 7 (51-43) – Milwaukee Brewers 6 (52-42)
Seattle Mariners 3 (50-43) – Oakland Athletics 2 (58-35)
San Francisco Giants 5 (51-42) – Arizona Wildcats 0 (39-55)
San Diego Padres 6 (41-52) – Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (52-43)
NBA: LeBron James chooses to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers
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ESPN: Rockets Trade Lin to Lakers

ESPN: Rockets Trade Lin to Lakers

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Houston Rockets traded guard Jeremy Lin and a future first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers Friday, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
The Rockets will receive cash and rights to an undisclosed overseas player.
According to ESPNDallas.com, the Rockets are also expected to match the Dallas Mavericks three-year, $46 million offer sheet to restricted free agent Chandler Parsons.
Meanwhile, the Lakers receive a 26-year-old Lin, who is in the final year of his contract that will pay him $14.9 million this season.
During his four NBA seasons, Lin has averaged 11.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
 
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O’Hearn Hit Streak at 13 as Chukars Shut Down Billings

O’Hearn Hit Streak at 13 as Chukars Shut Down Billings

BILLINGS, MT —  Solid pitching and Ryan O’Hearn provide a winning formula as Idaho Falls win their fourth straight game with a 3-1 over Billings on Thursday. Idaho Falls (13-11) starter Alec Mills allowed just two hits and one run in five innings,  retiring 12 Mustangs (11-13) in a row at one point. The bat of Ryan […]

Lebron James Is Headed Back to Cavaliers

Lebron James Is Headed Back to Cavaliers

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — LeBron James is headed back to Cleveland, the four-time MVP announced on Friday in an article he wrote for Sports Illustrated.
James spent seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers before leaving for Miami in 2010. Following his departure, James made four NBA finals appearances and took home two NBA titles, with help from Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, for the Miami Heat.
The Heat made a last-pitch effort to lock in James Wednesday when team president Pat Riley met with James and his agent, Rich Paul, in Las Vegas.
Paul did most of the talking during this free agency process, compared to 2010. He also met with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns.
James joins a young Cleveland roster that includes Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, and this year’s number-one overall pick, Andrew Wiggins.
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Sale, Rizzo Win MLB Final Vote

Sale, Rizzo Win MLB Final Vote

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — On Thursday, MLB’s fan base spoke, electing Chris Sale and Anthony Rizzo as the Final Vote winners for the 2014 All-Star Game.
It is the 13th season in which the social media/Internet voting method has taken place to decide the final member for both the American League and National League teams.
Sale, an ace on the Chicago White Sox staff, received 6.7 million votes to earn his third All-Star spot. The lefty is 8-1 on the year with a 2.08 earned run average and has been the most dominant pitcher on the White Sox staff.
The 8.8 million votes cast for Rizzo gave the Chicago Cubs first baseman his first ever All-Star appearance. Rizzo his currently hitting .277 for the Cubs and is tied for second in the NL with 20 home runs. He joins shortstop Starlin Castro on the NL roster.
Meanwhile, Erik Aybar of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will replace Kansas City’s Alex Gordon on the AL squad. Gordon received an injection on Thursday to help combat a sprained right wrist.
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Red Sox Walk-Off for Second Straight Night

Red Sox Walk-Off for Second Straight Night

iStockphoto(BOSTON) — For the second consecutive night, the Boston Red Sox walked-off against the Chicago White Sox in an afternoon affair at Fenway Park on Thursday.
Mike Carp’s pinch-hit single in the bottom of the tenth scored Daniel Nava to give Boston (41-51) the win.
For Carp, it was a grateful return to the lineup after missing more than a month with a broken right foot. After being placed on the disabled list back on June 2, Carp was activated Monday before delivering a game-winner on Thursday.
“Some of the nights, I almost had to turn the TV off in those situations because you can’t be there to help,” said Carp. “It’s tough being on the DL with a boot on my foot.”
The Red Sox trailed 1-0 early but scored three runs in the sixth against Jose Quintana to take the lead.
Chicago (44-49) tied things up in the ninth when Koji Uehara gave up a two-run homer to Conor Gillaspie, forcing extra innings. 
Nava led off the bottom of the tenth with a pinch-hit walk before being advanced to second on Mookie Betts’ sacrifice bunt. Stephen Drew was intentionally walked to set up the double play, but Carp singled to left field for the winning run.
It is the eighth time this season that Boston has won in walk-off fashion.
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Kershaw’s Scoreless Streak Ends, Dodgers Win

Kershaw’s Scoreless Streak Ends, Dodgers Win

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Clayton Kershaw continued his dominant stretch, picking up yet another victory as he went the full nine innings on Thursday. However, the Dodgers southpaw’s scoreless innings streak came to an end when Chase Headley hit a solo home run in the sixth.
The Dodgers (52-42) would win the game over San Diego, 2-1, as Kershaw allowed just three hits while striking out 11 batters. The hurler was again in complete control, keeping the Padres (40-52) off the board through the first five innings. Kershaw then got the first two outs of the sixth before Headley’s solo shot tied the game at 1-1. That snapped a streak of 41.2 scoreless innings for Kershaw, fifth longest in the modern era.
“It was over the fence, so it was a mistake — and it tied the game,” Kershaw said. “When it’s a game like that, one mistake can kill you. Fortunately for me, that one mistake didn’t.”
Los Angeles would get the lead back in the home half of the inning on Adrian Gonzalez’ sacrifice fly. That helped Kershaw (11-2) win his eighth consecutive start. In each of those starts, the lefty struck out at least seven batters, making him the third pitcher in 100 years to accomplish that feat.
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Cavs Ink Irving to Extension

Cavs Ink Irving to Extension

Chris Chambers/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) — Even the potential of luring LeBron James back could not prevent the Cleveland Cavaliers from making a major signing. On Thursday, the Cavs made it official by signing point guard Kyrie Irving to a five-year, $90 million extension.
While the agreement was reached last week, Cleveland could not publicly confirm the deal until the NBA’s moratorium on free agency ended on Thursday. The new contract keeps Irving in a Cavaliers jersey through 2020.
“We are excited that Kyrie has officially committed to be here long term with the Cleveland Cavaliers,” owner Dan Gilbert said in a release. “The future has never been brighter as we are building the team and franchise for sustainable success. Kyrie is obviously a very big piece of our plan.”
The three-year veteran averaged 20.8 points, 6.1 assists, and 3.6 rebounds last year for Cleveland. Irving was also named the Most Valuable Player at the NBA All-Star Game.
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Scoreboard Roundup – 7/10/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 7/10/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Chicago Cubs 6 (39-52) – Cincinnati Reds 4 (49-43) – 12 Innings
Philadelphia Phillies 9 (41-51) – Milwaukee Brewers 1 (52-41)
Boston Red Sox 4 (41-51) – Chicago White Sox 3 (44-49) 10 Innings
Oakland Athletics 6 (58-34) – San Francisco Giants 1 (50-42)
Atlanta Braves 3 (50-42) – New York Mets 1 (42-50) 
Baltimore Orioles 4 (50-41) – Washington Nationals 3 (49-41)
Pittsburgh Pirates 9 (48-44) – St. Louis Cardinals 1 (50-43) 
Cleveland Indians 9 (45-46) – New York Yankees 3 (46-45)
Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (52-42) – San Diego Padres 1 (40-52)
Minnesota Twins 4 (42-49) – Seattle Mariners 2 (49-43)
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Cardinals Place Yadier Molina on 15-Day Disabled List

Cardinals Place Yadier Molina on 15-Day Disabled List

Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was put on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday with a torn ligament in his right thumb. The six-time All-Star is expected to undergo surgery on Friday and miss eight to 12 weeks.
Molina suffered the injury during the second inning of Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, after he slid feet-first into third base.
In 83 games this season, Molina is batting .287 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs. He is a career .284 hitter with 96 homers and 576 RBIs.
To take Molina’s spot on the roster, the Cardinals recalled catcher Audry Perez from Triple-A Memphis.
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Valbuena Leads Cubs Past Reds, 6-4

Valbuena Leads Cubs Past Reds, 6-4

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) — Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena tripled home two runs in the 12th inning as Chicago (39-52) defeated the Cincinnati Reds (49-43) on Thursday 6-4 to avoid the five-game sweep.
Reds starter Homer Bailey allowed three earned runs and two hits over five innings of work. He left the game after feeling pain his right knee while attempting to throw a pitch to Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro.
Blake Parker (1-0) picked up the victory in relief for Chicago with two scoreless innings.
Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick hit his sixth home run of the season in the top of the third inning.
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Chukars Win Third Straight Game

Chukars Win Third Straight Game

(BILLINGS, MT) — The Chukars have a season high three game winning streak after setting down the Mustangs 4-2 on Wednesday. Idaho Falls (12-11) moves above .500 for the first time this season. Ryan O’Hearn didn’t waste anytime increasing his hitting streak to 12 with a two-run home run in the first inning. Billings (11-12) would […]

Hornets Reach Deal with Gordon Hayward

Hornets Reach Deal with Gordon Hayward

Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision(NEW YORK) — The Charlotte Hornets are doing their best to pry free agent Gordon Hayward away from the Utah Jazz.
Charlotte and Hayward have agree to a four-year offer sheet at the projected maximum of $63 million.
The Jazz will have three days to match the offer by the Hornets once the sheet is signed.
Utah had a chance to reach a deal with Hayward during the season, but both sides failed to find a number and years that worked.
Hayward is seeking a four-year deal worth $13 million annually, but the Jazz are sitting tight at $12 million, reports ESPN NBA insider Marc Stein.
He also visited with the Cavaliers last week.
Hayward averaged 16.2 points per game and 5.1 rebounds last season for Utah.
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Yankees Place SP Masahiro Tanaka on DL

Yankees Place SP Masahiro Tanaka on DL

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images (CLEVELAND) — The New York Yankees placed rookie starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka on the 15-day disabled list due to right elbow inflammation.
The Yankees flew Tanaka to New York Wednesday to receive an MRI on the elbow.

“It’s obviously soreness,” Yankees skipper Joe Girardi said. “I’m not saying it’s a significant injury. There’s soreness, and he must have felt that it was affecting him a little bit. So he felt it was best to send him back to have an MRI.”

The 25-year-old Tanaka has been brilliant in his first season in the States. He’s thrown 129 1/3 innings compiling a 2.51 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 19 walks, 135 strikeouts, and a major league-leading 12 wins.

Boston Red Sox Koji Uehara will take Tanaka’s spot on the American League All-Star team.
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Scoreboard Roundup – 7/9/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 7/9/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — World Cup – Semifinals: Argentina 0 (4) – Netherlands 0 (2)
MLB: Detroit Tigers 4 (50-37) – Los Angeles Dodgers 1 (51-42)
Arizona Diamondbacks 4 (39-54) – Miami Marlins 3 (44-47) 10 innings
Los Angeles Angels 8 (53-37) – Toronto Blue Jays 7 (48-45)
Colorado Rockies 6 (39-53) – San Diego Padres 3 (40-51)
Washington Nationals 6 (49-40) – Baltimore Orioles 2 (49-41)
New York Mets 4 (42-49) – Atlanta Braves 1 (49-42)
Cincinnati Reds 4 (49-42) – Chicago Cubs 1 (38-52)
Boston Red Sox 5 (40-51) – Chicago White Sox 4 (44-48)
Kansas City Royals 5 (47-43) – Tampa Bay Rays 4 (42-52)
Philadelphia Phillies 4 (40-51) – Milwaukee Brewers 1 (52-40)
Houston Astros 8 (39-54) – Texas Rangers 4 (38-53)
St. Louis Cardinals 5 (50-42) – Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (47-44)
New York Yankees 5 (46-44) – Cleveland Indians 4 (44-46) – 14 Innings
Minnesota Twins 8 (41-49) – Seattle Mariners 1 (49-42)
San Francisco Giants 5 (50-41) – Oakland Athletics 2 (57-34)
 
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Blackhawks Agree to 8-Year Contracts with Kane & Toews

Blackhawks Agree to 8-Year Contracts with Kane & Toews

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to eight-year contracts with forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, the team announced on Wednesday. Each deal is worth $84 million, according to ESPN.
The contracts will take the pair through the 2022-23 season.
“It’s great to be able to continue my career in Chicago,” said Kane in a statement. “Playing with the best organization in sports and the best fans in the game is a blessing. Since I was drafted by the Blackhawks, the people of Chicago have really embraced me and treated me with nothing but respect. I look forward to many more years of success with the Blackhawks.”
Kane has 178 goals and 315 assists in 515 regular-season career games, while Toews has 195 goals and 245 assists in 484 regular-season career games.
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Penguins’ Sidney Crosby to Have Wrist Surgery

Penguins’ Sidney Crosby to Have Wrist Surgery

Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will undergo surgery to repair a wrist that never recovered after physical therapy, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Crosby is not expected to miss any regular season games, reports the Gazette.
Crosby was named the league’s Hart Trophy Award winner for the second time this past season. He also won the Ted Lindsay Award, which is the player’s choice for league MVP.
The 26-year-old Crosby played in 80 games this season and led the league in points (104) and assists (68) while leading the Penguins to the Metropolitan Division championship. He also scored 36 goals with 68 assists.
The Penguins were knocked out of the playoffs by the New York Rangers, which led to the firing of their coach Dan Bylsma and general manager Ray Shero.
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