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Tracy McGrady Retires From Baseball

Tracy McGrady Retires From Baseball

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Tracy McGrady has retired for the second time, this time from the game of baseball. The former NBA All-Star called it quits after appearing in four games for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League.
His final appearance came in the Atlantic League All-Star Game, and ended with his first-ever strikeout. McGrady tossed 1 1/3 innings, fanning Bryan Pounds to pick up the first, and only, “K” of his career. In total, the 35-year-old threw a total of 6 2/3 innings, earning a 6.75 ERA.
“This has been an awesome year,” McGrady said, according to CBS Houston. “Not having my basketball career end the way I wanted but having the opportunity to be friends with some of the guys and get to know them and compete with them, learn from them every day, it’s been an honor.”
McGrady played baseball all the way up until his senior year of high school, when he transferred to a school without a baseball team. He then focused on basketball and became a seven-time All-Star.
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Matthew Lombardi Agrees to Join Rangers

Matthew Lombardi Agrees to Join Rangers

Len Redkoles/ NHLI via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Center Matthew Lombardi agreed to return from playing overseas and join the reigning Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers.Lombardi played in Switzerland for Geneve-Servette last season and led …

AL Wins in Jeter’s Last All-Star Game Hurrah

AL Wins in Jeter’s Last All-Star Game Hurrah

Elsa/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) — Derek Jeter went 2-for-2 in his final All-Star game, and Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run home run to help the American League down the National League 5-3 Tuesday.
Jeter was the highlight of the game. The 14-time All-Star doubled to leadoff the bottom half of the first inning and proceeded to score on Mike Trout’s triple. Jeter then led off the bottom of the third with a single.

Jeter took the field in the top of the fourth but Alexei Ramirez ran out onto the field to replace him. That sparked almost everyone at Target Field to give No. 2 a standing ovation while the song “New York, New York” played in the background. Jeter then went into the AL dugout where he received hugs from his teammates before coming back on the field for a curtain call.

After the celebration ended the NL tied the game 3-3 when Jonathan Lucroy doubled in pinch-runner Dee Gordon. But Mike Trout, who was named the game’s MVP, gave the AL the lead for good in the fifth when he laced an RBI double down the left field line.
The game ended with some excitement for the home crowd as Twins pitcher Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save for the AL.
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Cespedes Wins Second-Straight HR Derby

Cespedes Wins Second-Straight HR Derby

Robert Binder/MLB Photos via Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) — For the second-straight year, Yoenis Cespedes is the All-Star Home Run Derby champion.
The Oakland Athletics outfielder defeated the Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier 9-1 in the final round Monday night to become the first repeat champion since Ken Griffey Jr. did it in 1999.
For the second-straight year, Cespedes had Oakland’s third-base coach Mike Gallego throw to him.
Cespedes topped Toronto’s Jose Bautista to advance to the final against Frazier, who beat Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton in the NL semifinals.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was the only player to not hit a home run in the derby. He’s the first player to be shutout since Robinson Cano was in 2012.
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Brian Harman Wins John Deere Classic

Brian Harman Wins John Deere Classic

(SILVIS, Ill.) — For the first time in his young career, Brian Harman played in the final pairing on Sunday. The 27-year-old handled that pressure, making three clutch birdies down the stretch to win the John Deere Classic by one stroke over Zach Johnson.
“It was very hard, probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do in my life,” Harman said. “Just trying not to let your mind run wild is the hardest part out there.”
Johnson, a neighbor of Harman, shot a 7-under 64, tying the leader on the 14th hole with a birdie. When Harman approached the 14th, he was able to make par before knocking home birdie putts on each of the next two holes to pull away.
A bogey on 18 didn’t hurt the first-time PGA winner, who held a two-stroke lead as he stood on the final tee. The victory earns Harman the final exemption for the British Open and also gave him an invitation to the Masters and Tournament of Champions, both firsts.
Jhonattan Vegas finished tied for third with Jerry Kelly while Scott Brown and Tim Clark tied for fifth.
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Grand Slams From Posey, Bumgarner Give Giants Win

Grand Slams From Posey, Bumgarner Give Giants Win

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey launched the second grand slam of his career in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving the Giants a 4-1 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks. One inning later, pitcher Madison Bumgarner did the same in an 8-4 win.
It was the first time in Major League Baseball history that batterymates each hit grand slams in the same game. For Bumgarner, it was his second slam of 2014 as he became the first pitcher in 48 seasons to complete that feat. Tony Cloninger hit two in one game for Atlanta, against the Giants, at Candlestick Park in 1966.
“That’s pretty cool,” Bumgarner said after the win. “This game is full of strange statistics. It seems like there is a first every day. It’s crazy to get that many opportunities as a pitcher.”
The righty went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits, while striking out five. Bumgarner (10-7) ended a three-game personal losing streak as the Giants (52-43) won five of their final nine games before the All-Star break.
Vidal Nuno (0-1) took the loss in his second start for Arizona, giving up four runs on six hits in just five innings. The Diamondbacks (40-56) have lost five of their last 13 games.
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Abreu Launches MLB-Best 29th Homer in Win

Abreu Launches MLB-Best 29th Homer in Win

(Major League BaseballCLEVELAND) — Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu continues to dazzle. On Saturday, the first baseman launched his 29th home run of the season, the most in the MLB so far this year.
“He’s good,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventur…

Brazil Booed After Third-Place Loss

Brazil Booed After Third-Place Loss

Michael Dodge/Getty Images(BRASILIA, Brazil) — The host country was already on thin ice with their fans when they lost 7-1 to Germany in the World Cup semifinals. On Saturday, a 3-0 loss to the Netherlands resulted in Brazil being booed off the pitch in front of their own nation.
Thanks in part to some poor defending, the Dutch ran rampant in the 2014 FIFA World Cup third-place match. Robin Van Persie started the performance by converting on a penalty kick in the third minute. Arjen Robben went sprinting past the Brazilian defense but was dragged down by Thiago Silva just inside the box, awarding the spot kick.
Daley Blind, son of assistant coach Danny, tallied his first-ever international goal when David Luiz misplayed a ball in the box. Instead of heading it over his own net for a set piece, he attempted to clear it but instead directed the ball right to Blind’s foot. 
Holland added another goal in stoppage time from Georginio Wijnaldum while goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen stopped the two sure shots he had to face.
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Paul Pierce Joining the Wizards

Paul Pierce Joining the Wizards

Claus Andersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Paul Pierce will don new colors next season. On Saturday, the small forward signed a two-year deal worth $11 million with the Washington Wizards.
Pierce, who spent the 2013-14 season with the Brooklyn Nets, signed a contract that includes a player option for next summer. The Wizards went after Pierce once swingman Trevor Ariza signed a deal with the Houston Rockets.
The ten-time All-Atar averaged just 13.5 points per game, playing only 28 minutes per contest last year with the Nets. Pierce had also garnered interest from such teams as the Dallas Mavericks, Rockets, and Los Angeles Lakers. 
Pierce, 36, joined Brooklyn as part of a mega-trade with the Boston Celtics that included Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry.
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Angels Win Seventh Straight, Beat Rangers

Angels Win Seventh Straight, Beat Rangers

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) — Mike Trout’s 22nd home run of the year proved to be more than enough on Friday as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beat Texas 3-0. It was the seventh straight win for the Angles (55-37) who have also won eight of their last nine.
Garrett Richards was masterful on the hill, scattering five hits in his seven innings of work for Los Angeles. The righty is now unbeaten in his last eight starts, winning seven in a row, with a 1.27 earned run average. Richards (11-2) has not lost since a May 30 defeat at Oakland.
Trout’s homer was the first hit of the night for the Angels as Nick Tepesch had retired the first 10 batters he faced for the Rangers (38-55). Tepesch (3-5) then gave up two more runs in the top of the seventh inning before ultimately being pulled in favor of Neftali Feliz. Texas has lost 12 of its last 13 and currently sits with the worst record in the bigs.
Adrian Beltre did extend his hitting streak to 15 games for Texas but the team was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
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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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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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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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