Tag Archives: Sports business

Cowboys’ Elliott reveals “painful” new “Feed Me” tattoo


Dallas working again Ezekiel Elliott pulled up his jersey to disclose a brand new “Feed Me” tattoo on his abdomen after scoring the primary Cowboys landing of the season towards the Rams.

The 2-time speeding champion mentioned he received the tattoo over the summer season, with the message apparent primarily based on the slogan that grew out of Elliott’s spoon-feeding hand sign on the finish of his first-down performs. And whereas Elliott mentioned it was “tremendous painful,” it didn’t interrupt his attendance at summer season throwing periods at quarterback Dak Prescott’s home.

“I feel like the following day we went and threw at Dak’s and it was all swollen and puffy,” mentioned Elliott, who had 127 yards from scrimmage and each Dallas touchdowns in a 20-17 loss to Los Angeles. “It was terrible. Not going to lie it was painful, however proud of the end result.”

Defensive finish DeMarcus Lawrence needed to mood his enthusiasm for the brand new physique artwork.

“I imply, I received children, so I wouldn’t say I approve it,” Lawrence mentioned. “Nevertheless it’s a dope tattoo.”

As for parental approval on the Elliott aspect, the 2016 All-Professional mentioned: “At this level, my mother is like over getting mad at me for getting tattoos. Now she’s coming round to them.”

First-year coach Mike McCarthy appeared to be saying he didn’t see the a part of the tape with Elliott’s celebration.


The Niners introduced a collaboration with NFL Mexico to develop their Digital Flag Soccer Coaching Camp exterior the Bay Space and run it in each English and Spanish.

The 49ers launched the English model of their digital camp over the summer season to supply children an choice with many fall sports activities postponed or canceled. The camp was obtainable nationwide, as properly in Australia and Canada.


The most important fear about working backs within the NFL is carrying them down by handing them the ball an excessive amount of. Neither the Tennessee Titans nor the 2019 speeding chief are apprehensive.

Derrick Henry, who led the league with 1,540 yards on 303 carries final season, ran 31 occasions for 116 yards within the Titans’ season-opening win. It was solely his third recreation with 30 or extra carries within the NFL, and coach Mike Vrabel mentioned Henry received’t be on any sort of pitch depend.

“He will get himself in nice situation, he understands the accountability he has to the staff to have the ability to generally carry it as many occasions as he did on Monday evening,” Vrabel mentioned. “Each recreation is totally different.”

Henry mentioned he needs to reap the benefits of all of the alternatives he will get. That’s why he trains as a lot as he does.

“I feel they put together you for moments like that, to have the ability to carry the load in video games like that, bodily video games,” Henry mentioned.

Henry carried at the very least 30 occasions in 5 video games in 2015 at Alabama on his approach to the Heisman Trophy, together with 46 within the Iron Bowl, adopted by one other 44 the following week within the Southeastern Convention championship.

“I feel a few times it received up within the 50s. It’s been lots, particularly in highschool,” Henry mentioned of his profession in Yulee, Florida.

Can Henry inform when he begins carrying down a protection the extra he carries?

“Perhaps if I look over once I’m within the huddle I can see them respiration exhausting, however that’s just about it,” Henry mentioned.


The wage cap worth of the featured working again has considerably decreased in recent times as groups, cautious of the brief shelf life for gamers at that harmful place, have invested extra in passing, cross catching, cross speeding and cross protection. The 2017 draft class has confirmed that working backs can nonetheless be properly value it, although.

The Minnesota Vikings grew to become the newest staff to provide their working again a second contract. An eight-figure annual common worth, with a $63 million, five-year extension, was given to Dalvin Cook dinner and signed the day earlier than the season opener. Cook dinner is now one of many eight working backs within the NFL with an annual common contract worth of $12 million or extra. Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey leads the record at barely greater than $16 million.

McCaffrey, New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara, Cook dinner and Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon all received new offers in 2020 to type the highest eight that additionally consists of Dallas’ Elliott, Tennessee’s Henry, Le’Veon Bell of the New York Jets and Houston’s David Johnson.

“Being in Minnesota so long as I can, that was necessary to me,” Cook dinner mentioned, including: “I understand how a lot Minnesota values me and the way the entrance workplace thinks about me. I knew I did sufficient as a participant. There was nothing else that would presumably not come from the scenario.”

The Vikings, who picked Cook dinner within the second spherical out of Florida State with the 41st total choice, weren’t dissuaded from the long-term funding in Cook dinner regardless of knee, hamstring and shoulder accidents over his first three NFL seasons. These restricted him to 31 of a potential 52 video games, together with the playoffs.

“I began taking part in soccer once I was four years previous. To get up to now and see all of the obstacles that I’ve been by way of — getting injured and simply watching soccer and taking a step again from it to now being right here — it simply reveals that should you preserve working exhausting, there’s a prize on the finish of the highway. Simply put your head down and work,” Cook dinner mentioned. “That’s what I did day by day, and I’m nonetheless going to do to today.”


Based mostly on opening-day rosters, there have been 357 gamers weighing over 300 kilos, 294 weighing beneath 200 kilos. The Philadelphia Eagles had 15 gamers weighing lower than 200 kilos, essentially the most in that class. Philadelphia additionally had essentially the most gamers beneath 6 toes tall with 15.

The New York Giants had 15 gamers weighing over 300 kilos, essentially the most within the league.

Dallas apparently would not have a lot religion in shorter gamers, with solely three beneath 6 toes. Denver had the fewest 300-pounders with eight.

Coincidentally, all of these groups misplaced their openers.


AP Professional Soccer Writers Schuyler Dixon, Teresa M. Walker, Dennis Waszak Jr., Josh Dubow and Dave Campbell contributed.


Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL


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US-based Krause Group takes management of Parma soccer membership


Parma has change into the most recent Serie A crew with overseas possession after the U.S.-based Krause Group bought a 90% stake within the membership

PARMA, Italy — Parma grew to become the most recent Serie A crew with overseas possession Friday when the U.S.-based Krause Group bought a 90% stake within the membership.

The Iowa-based Krause Group is “the father or mother firm for a various set of companies that embrace comfort retail, logistics, Italian wineries and hospitality, actual property, agriculture, and soccer golf equipment,” based on the corporate’s web site.

Parma, a two-time UEFA Cup champion within the 1990s, fell into monetary bother in recent times and had a sequence of possession modifications.

The crew was dismantled in 2015 and needed to restart from Serie D. Parma returned to Serie A in 2018 and completed 11th final season.

Parma opens this season by internet hosting Napoli on Sunday.

“Parma are fighters and bouncing again from Serie D with three consecutive promotions in three years is a testomony to their resilience,” Krause stated. “As president I promise to combat for them each step of the best way. I’m honored to don the yellow and blue and play a small half within the venerable historical past of this proud crew. I stay up for rising the crew, the game, and its fandom in Parma, Italy, and the world.”


Extra AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities


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Báez single offers Cubs 4th straight win, 3-2 over Indians


Javier Báez’s RBI single within the 10th inning lifted the Chicago Cubs to their fourth straight win, 3-2 over the Cleveland Indians

CHICAGO — Javier Báez’s RBI single within the 10th inning lifted the Chicago Cubs to their fourth straight win, 3-2 over the Cleveland Indians, on Wednesday evening in a sport that was briefly delayed when a drone entered Wrigley Subject and briefly landed on the outfield grass.

Computerized runner Ian Happ superior to 3rd when Kris Bryant greeted Phil Maton (2-2) with a groundball single to open the 10th.

After Anthony Rizzo was walked deliberately to load the bases, Maton fanned Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber. Then Báez’s liner to left scored Happ and despatched the Indians to their eighth straight loss, their longest slide since June 2013.

The Cubs gained their fourth straight and strengthened their grip on first place within the NL Central.

Oscar Mercado hit a solo shot off Jon Lester within the fifth to tie the sport at 2.

5 Cubs relievers adopted Lester with a scoreless inning every. Jason Adam (2-1) pitched the 10th.

Umpires rapidly cleared the sector when the small drone flew into the ballpark over the left-center bleachers as Contreras got here to bat with with two outs within the backside of the fifth.

After it landed, the blinking drone took off, hovered at about 100 toes, then pulled away and vanished into the evening past the center-field scoreboard.

Following a 7-minute delay, Contreras resumed his at-bat and grounded out.

Aaron Civale allowed two runs on seven hits, leaving with runners at second and third and none out within the seventh. The correct-hander hasn’t gained since Aug. 19 and is 0-Three in his final 5 begins.

Lester yielded two runs on 4 hits in 5 innings in his second efficient begin following two tough ones.

The 36-year-old lefty settled in after struggling along with his management within the first inning. Francisco Lindor, who walked to steer off the sport, scored from third on a wild pitch.

The Cubs tied it within the second on Jason Heyward’s bloop single. Chicago moved forward 2-1 within the fourth when Cameron Maybin’s infield single drove in Báez.


OF Ian Happ, the Cubs’ union rep, mentioned he helps isolating gamers in a playoff bubble beginning with the division sequence. However he mentioned guidelines “like asking permission to go for a stroll” shall be taxing. “It feels extra like being a zoo animal than baseball participant or human being,” Happ mentioned.


Cubs: LHP Andrew Chafin (sprained left index finger) threw 20-plus pitches in a simulated sport Wednesday and “seemed actually sharp,” supervisor David Ross mentioned. Chafin, acquired from Arizona on the commerce deadline, has but to pitch for the Cubs.

Indians: Gold Glove C Roberto Perez didn’t play Wednesday so he might get therapy on an situation that has been affecting his swing. Perez, who beforehand missed three weeks with a proper shoulder pressure, is anticipated again Thursday at Detroit. Austin Hedges, acquired from San Diego on the deadline in a nine-player commerce, was behind the plate in opposition to the Cubs. … 2B Cesar Hernandez (paternity checklist) rejoined the group. He pinch-hit within the eighth and remained within the sport.


Indians: AL ERA chief Shane Bieber (7-1, 1.53) takes the mound at Detroit on Thursday and tries to rebound from his lone loss, to the Twins final Friday in Minnesota. Rookie RHP Casey Mize (0-1, 5.85) pitches for the Tigers.

Cubs: Following a time without work Thursday, RHP Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.29) faces LHP Wealthy Hill (2-1. 3.81) within the opener of a three-game dwelling set in opposition to Minnesota at Wrigley Subject.


Extra AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities


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Minnesota Wild fire coach Bruce Boudreau


The Minnesota Wild have fired coach Bruce Boudreau

ST. PAUL, Minn. —
The Minnesota Wild fired coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday with the goal of correcting some inconsistencies and making a late-season push for a playoff spot.

First-year general manager Bill Guerin said he felt the timing was right to move on from Boudreau and replace him with interim coach Dean Evason despite the Wild having won seven of their past 11 games. Boudreau was fired in the aftermath of a shootout loss to the New York Rangers.

“It’s not just one loss. It’s not one week. It’s a series of things,” Guerin said at a news conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. “We have shown that we can be (one of) the best teams in the league or the so-called best teams in the league. I think in some of the tighter game situations we could be a little bit better.”

This is the eighth coaching change in the NHL this season, and Boudreau is the sixth fired for team performance reasons. That matches the most for one season in NHL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Minnesota is 27-23-7 and three points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference with 25 games left. Guerin hopes a “new voice” from Evason helps the Wild return to the playoffs.

“This is all a matter of just winning games down the stretch,” Guerin said. “I expect this team to compete for a playoff spot.”

Boudreau, 65, was in his fourth season with the Wild. He had been hired by Chuck Fletcher, who has since been fired and joined Philadelphia as its GM. Boudreau took Minnesota to the playoffs in his first two seasons there.

Guerin took over last summer following the firing of one-season GM Paul Fenton. He said it was not his intent from the time he got the job to fire Boudreau.

“We had a good working relationship and we got along as people, as well,” Guerin said. “I like Bruce. He’s a good guy and I planned on seeing it through. I came in with an open mind and didn’t have a decision made. This was just something that’s been on my mind for a little while and I felt like today was the day.”

Boudreau is in his 13th season after previously coaching the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks. His team has made the playoffs in 10 of 12 full seasons, and his 567 wins rank 22nd.

Evason is in his second season with the Wild after coaching the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals the previous six years. He was an assistant under Boudreau for parts of five seasons in Washington.

Guerin said the front office will conduct a search for a full-time coach once this season is over. For now, it’s Evason’s team.

“Dean has his own thoughts and beliefs and what he believes is going to give us success,” Guerin said. “I have full confidence in him. The one thing I really do like about Dean is his passion, his fire for the game. I am hoping that that translates to the players.”


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/tag/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports


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NCAA’s Emmert presses Senate for ‘guardrails’ on athlete pay


NCAA President Mark Emmert is urging Congress to step in and put restrictions on college athletes’ ability to earn money from endorsements

NCAA President Mark Emmert urged Congress to put restrictions on college athletes’ ability to earn money from endorsements, telling a Senate committee Tuesday federal action is needed to “maintain uniform standards in college sports” amid player-friendly laws approved in California and under consideration in other states.

The NCAA last fall said it would allow players to “benefit” from the use of their name, image and likeness and is working on new rules it plans to reveal in April. Under the NCAA’s timeline, athletes would be able to take advantage of endorsement opportunities beginning next January.

Meanwhile, more than 25 states are considering legislation that would force the NCAA to allow players to earn money off their personal brand in a bid to address inequities in the multi-billion-dollar college sports industry. California passed a law last year that gives broad endorsement rights to players and it will take effect in 2023. Other states could grant those rights as soon as this year.

The NCAA’s concern, echoed by Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who also testified Tuesday, is that endorsement deals for athletes would have a negative effect on recruiting, with schools and boosters in states with athlete-friendly laws using money to entice players to sign with certain schools.

“If implemented, these laws would give some schools an unfair recruiting advantage and open the door to sponsorship arrangements being used as a recruiting inducement. This would create a huge imbalance among schools and could lead to corruption in the recruiting process,” Emmert said. “We may need Congress’ support in helping maintain uniform standards in college sports.”

Emmert’s comments were similar to what the NCAA, the Big 12 and the Atlantic Coast Conference have been communicating to Congress through well-paid lobbyists. The Associated Press has found that the NCAA and the two conferences spent $750,000 last year lobbying on Capitol Hill, in part to amplify their concern that “guardrails” are needed on endorsement pay for athletes to avoid destroying college sports as we know it.

Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican and the chairman of the Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection, said he was not inclined to act until after the NCAA reveals its new rules.

“I wish Congress was in a position to be able to provide the NCAA and the athletes the opportunity to find a solution. … The ability for Congress to do that is, that’s a challenge,” Moran said in an interview after the hearing. “The next step is to see what the NCAA is capable of presenting to us in April.”

NCAA critics believe there is plenty of evidence that recruiting is already corrupt — pointing in part to the federal criminal case involving shoe companies paying basketball players to attend schools they sponsor — and that letting players earn endorsement money won’t create the major problems the NCAA predicts.

Ramogi Huma, executive director of the National College Players’ Association, which advocates for athletes’ rights, said under current NCAA rules, 99.3% of top-100 football recruits choose teams from the Power Five conferences.

“The power conferences have advantages and they consistently pull the best recruits,” Huma said. “They will continue to get the recruits. The reality is, you’re not going to change the recruiting by limiting the players’ opportunities.”

Huma said once states start granting players endorsement rights, Congress would not be inclined to take those rights away, “and we’ll have an opportunity to witness the fact that NCAA sports will still be strong and everybody will tune in.”

There was bipartisan agreement among the senators at the hearing that athletes should have access to endorsement opportunities and that some regulations are necessary.

Emmert did not fully escape lawmakers’ anger at the system he presides over.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, excoriated Emmert for the NCAA’s handling of sexual violence against women. She also noted the case of James Wiseman, a top NBA prospect who left school after he was suspended over $11,500 given to his mother by Memphis coach Penny Hardaway to help with moving expenses. Hardaway gave the money before he was Memphis’ coach.

Blackburn said the NCAA’s lack of consistency and transparency in the Wiseman case had eroded trust in the organization’s ability to handle issues of player benefits.

“I think a question that must be going through a lot of minds of student-athletes and their parents is, how in the world are they going to be able to trust you to get this right?” Blackburn said.


Follow Ben Nuckols at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols


More AP college sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25


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Saints owner denies team had role in clergy sex abuse list


The owner of the New Orleans Saints says the NFL team played no role in determining which priests would be named in the list of “credibly accused” clergy published by the area’s Roman Catholic Church

The owner of the New Orleans Saints said Monday that the NFL team played no role in determining which priests would be named in the list of “credibly accused” clergy published by the area’s Roman Catholic Church.

Gayle Benson, a devout Catholic who has donated millions of dollars to church causes, also said in a lengthy statement that she has never “contributed nor will ever make payments” to pay for legal settlements to the victims of clergy abuse.

“To suggest that I would offer money to the Catholic Church to pay for anything related to the clergy-molestation issue sickens me,” she added. It was not clear who had made that suggestion.

The statement marked Benson’s first remarks since The Associated Press reported last month about hundreds of confidential Saints emails that allegedly show team executives did behind-the-scenes public relations damage control amid the archdiocese’s clergy abuse crisis — communications the Saints have gone to court to keep from being made public. A hearing is scheduled in New Orleans next week to determine whether they may be released.

Benson’s statement acknowledged that Greg Bensel, the Saints’ senior vice president of communications, helped the Archdiocese of New Orleans “prepare for the media” surrounding the November 2018 release of a list that named dozens of clergy members whom the church deemed “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children.

Benson, who inherited the Saints and New Orleans Pelicans following her husband’s 2018 death, said Bensel urged the church to be “honest, complete and transparent.”

“We are proud of the role we played and yes, in hindsight, we would help again to assist the Archdiocese in its ability to publish the list with the hope of taking this step to heal the community,” Benson said.

Attorneys for about two dozen men suing the church have painted a different picture of the team’s role, alleging in court filings that the confidential emails show executives joined in the church’s “pattern and practice of concealing its crimes.” The attorneys contend that included taking an active role in helping to shape the archdiocese’s list of 57 credibly accused clergy, a roster an AP analysis found was undercounted by at least 20 names.

Plaintiffs attorneys John Denenea and Richard Trahant said in a statement Monday that “it is obvious that Gayle Marie Benson has not read the e-mails the Saints are hiding from the public, or even re-read her own e-mails. If she had read them, she could never have made some of the false claims asserted in her statement today.”


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Manfred says Mets sale from Wilpons to Cohen is off


Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says talks have ended over a proposed sale of the New York Mets

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says talks have ended over the proposed sale of a controlling share of the New York Mets from the families of Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to hedge fund manager Steven Cohen.

The Mets said Dec. 4 the contemplated deal between Sterling Partners and Cohen would have allowed 83-year-old Fred Wilpon to remain as controlling owner and chief executive officer for five years. His son Jeff would remain as chief operating officer.

“There is not going to be a transaction,” Manfred said at the end of an owners’ meeting. “I can tell you, and it’s based on conversations with the buyer and the seller on an ongoing basis, the assertion that the transaction fell apart because of something the Wilpons did is completely and utterly unfair.”

Cohen bought an 8% limited partnership stake in 2012 for $40 million. The deal under discussion would have seen him acquire an 80% controlling share in a transaction that values the team at $2.6 billion.

Wilpon repeatedly declined comment at the MLB meetings this week. After Manfred’s remarks, spokesmen for the Mets and Cohen declined comment.

Manfred would not speculate whether the deal could be resurrected.

“My soothsaying is not great. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “As of right now, it’s my belief that that transaction is not going forward.”

Cohen first bought into the Mets in 2012 when the team sought $20 million minority investment stakes following the collapse of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which heavily cost the Wilpons and their companies. The limited partnership shares were sold after a proposed $200 million sale of a stake of the Mets to hedge fund manager David Einhorn fell through in 2011.

The 63-year-old Cohen is CEO and president of Point72 Asset Management.

Cohen controlled SAC Capital Advisors, which in 2013 pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges. SAC agreed to pay a $900 million fine and forfeit another $900 million to the federal government, though $616 million that SAC companies had already agreed to pay to settle parallel actions by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was to be deducted from the $1.8 billion.

The publisher Doubleday & Co. bought the Mets in 1980 from the family of founding owner Joan Payson for $21.1 million, with the company owning 95% of the team and Wilpon controlling 5%.

When Doubleday & Co. was sold to the media company Bertelsmann AG in 1986, the publisher sold its shares of the team for nearly $81 million to Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday, who became 50-50 owners.

Wilpon led a buyout of Doubleday’s shares in 002 and became chairman and sole controlling owner. Saul Katz, the owner’s brother-in-law and partner in the real estate firm Sterling Equities Inc., became team president and Jeff Wilpon became COO.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports


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High, hard: Indians’ Clevinger takes aim at cheating Astros


Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger doesn’t know exactly how he’ll react the next time he’s on the mound facing the Houston Astros.

They cheated, and he doesn’t like cheaters. On Friday night, he took aim at them.

“We’ll see,” he said. “It’ll be fun.”

Clevinger has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Astros since their sign-stealing scandal broke earlier this month and rocked baseball, leading to suspensions, managerial firings in Houston, Boston and New York, and blanketing the sport in a net of suspicion as spring training approaches.

Once the season begins, the Astros will be under more scrutiny and they might have to deal with some high, hard pitches.

“I think players will deal with it the way it should be across the league,” Clevinger said. “I don’t think it’s going to be a comfortable few ABs (at-bats) for a lot of those boys, and it shouldn’t be. They shouldn’t be comfortable.”

Asked what bothered him most about the scandal, Clevinger said, “Probably them accepting an award and cracking a joke about it without an apology.”

Clevinger, who went 13-4 last season for Cleveland, has long wondered about Houston’s hitters and their uncanny ability to hit tough pitches. He and former teammate Trevor Bauer raised concerns in the past about the Astros, and the revelation that they were using a camera in center field and banging trash cans to alert teammates of incoming pitches, gave the right-handers some vindication.

“I wouldn’t say it was common knowledge, but it’s been going around the league for a while as far as rumors there’s been a lot more substance involved,” Clevinger said. “It’s just, we didn’t have the smoking gun … and it finally came out and it was a reiteration of how cocky they were and how they treated other guys around the league. And for that to be going on just struck a chord with me.”

Clevinger said he was confident the Astros’ secrets would eventually leak. It was former Houston pitcher Mike Fiers, now with Oakland, who revealed that Houston used a video feed sent to a monitor near its dugout to decode signs and relay them to hitters.

“Me and Trevor Bauer since 2017 have been waiting — there’s no way they can keep this glued together,” Clevinger said. “There’s no way everyone’s going to keep their mouth shut. There’s no way they can keep not picking up contracts, not giving free agents money and no one is going to say anything. We knew something was going to happen and sure enough, it did.”

There’s still a part of Clevinger that wishes he and Bauer weren’t right about their suspicions.

“Obviously, we didn’t want it,” he said. “I’d rather me be the hippie conspiracy theorist and him be the (jerk). I’d totally rather it went that way, man, 100%. It sucks that we were right. But it wasn’t like we were just throwing stuff at a wall. There was a lot of stuff we knew that other people didn’t know we knew.”

And now that the Astros have been exposed, Clevinger said sign-stealing may be more prevalent than anyone realized.

“I’m not debating that it’s not,” he said. “The point is we know who it is. People see the repercussions now. I have no idea where it’s going to go from here, whether it’s detrimental enough, but I think there’s enough punishment involved that it’s going to steer teams away from doing it. Hopefully there will be more checks and balances involved in the video department, be it with MLB through each game.”

The Astros were also fined $5 million, a penalty Clevinger found insulting, and he’s sorry Fiers has been cast as a villain by some for talking about his former team.

“What’s he going to do, while he’s wearing their colors going into the playoffs?” Clevinger said. ”He’s got to speak out now. He’s going to have to do it after. It doesn’t matter when he spoke out. It’s the fact that he did it. It had to come to light.”

Clevinger didn’t start against the Astros last season, but said during an outing against them in 2018 that he began to wonder if something was amiss.

The 29-year-old said he threw a 95 mph inside fastball to Houston outfielder Tony Kemp, who pulled it down the line for a hit.

“Not that he’s not a good ballplayer, but Tony Kemp’s not the best fastball, high-ball, two-strike hitter,” Clevinger said. “Let alone, pulling it down the line at 95 mph. I knew something was up that game. I had my stuff, but I was fighting for every out I had to get. I knew something was different.”

The Indians were swept by Houston in the 2018 AL Division Series, but manager Terry Francona isn’t making any excuses about what happened. The Astros beat Cleveland fair and square, he said.

“You can beat as many trash cans as you want,” Francona said. “I think we had two hits off of (Gerrit) Cole and three off of (Justin) Verlander. That wasn’t because of trash cans.”


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports


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Saints end 13-Three however miss out on first-round bye


It seems 13 wins weren’t sufficient to earn the New Orleans Saints a first-round bye within the NFC playoffs.

The runaway winners of the NFC South must win an additional recreation in the event that they hope to achieve the Tremendous Bowl. They’re going to be the No. Three seed within the playoffs and host the Vikings subsequent weekend within the wild-card spherical whereas the Inexperienced Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers get per week to relaxation.

The Saints had been hoping they could get a first-round bye — or presumably even home-field benefit all through the playoffs — after throttling the reeling Carolina Panthers 42-10 on Sunday. As a substitute, Saints proprietor Gayle Benson watched the Packers rally to beat the Lions on a set of TVs within the press field at Financial institution of America Stadium. Then, after the Saints returned dwelling to Louisiana, they watched the 49ers outlast the Seahawks with a last-second goal-line stand. The Packers, 49ers and Saints all completed 13-3, however the Saints misplaced out on tiebreakers.

Saints coach Sean Payton stated earlier Sunday he was glad along with his staff’s aggressive method in opposition to Carolina despite the fact that he did not know the way the playoff seedings would shake out.

“It is onerous to play this recreation should you’re not emotionally and bodily prepared,” stated Payton, who performed his starters till late within the third quarter. “There are occasions when seeding has been established, and we have sat gamers. That is a special image. From the minute we obtained right here, we dealt with it proper. Our pregame was on level.”

Drew Brees threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns, Alvin Kamara ran for 2 scores and A.J. Klein returned an interception for a landing because the Saints handed the Panthers their eighth straight loss.

“You at all times need to be ready the place you management your individual future,” Brees stated. However he later added, “If not, we’re getting ready for wherever we will play.”

Brees stated an important factor is that the Saints are clicking as they enter the postseason.

“Whenever you take a look at the stretch of the previous 5 or 6 weeks, the emphasis is how will we get higher? How will we enhance? How will we get ourselves in the perfect kind going into the playoffs?” Brees stated.

The one factor that went proper for the Panthers (5-11) was Christian McCaffrey becoming a member of Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk because the third participant in NFL historical past to document 1,000 yards speeding and 1,000 yards receiving in the identical season. McCaffrey wanted 67 yards receiving coming in and obtained there with a 17-yard reception late within the third quarter, incomes some bear hugs from teammates on the sideline and a standing ovation from the scattered followers remaining within the seats.

“Yearly I write down little targets and it’s cool if you accomplish one in every of them,” McCaffrey stated. “However as soon as once more, and I can not reiterate this sufficient, that an important statistic is successful.”

McCaffrey completed the season with 2,392 yards from scrimmage, third most in NFL historical past. He left the sport late within the third quarter following his 19th landing of the season.

Any suspense concerning the consequence of the sport ended a lot earlier.

The Saints took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards on eight performs to take a 7-Zero lead on Kamara’s 15-yard landing run. Kamara added a second TD run later within the quarter, and Klein made it a three-touchdown lead when he picked off rookie quarterback Will Grier and returned it 14 yards for a TD early within the second quarter.

Brees added TD passes of 1 yard to Tre’Quan Smith and 21 yards to Jared Cook dinner to make it 35-Zero within the second quarter, prompting Panthers interim coach Perry Fewell to take away perennial Professional Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly from the sport to stop harm.

“There are 4 quarters in a season and we didn’t end the final eight video games very robust, which is disappointing for the gamers, for the coaches, for the followers, for the group,” stated Fewell, who went 0-Four as Carolina’s interim coach.


Grier left the sport within the second quarter with a foot harm, ending his second NFL begin with a 0.Zero quarterback ranking on 1 of eight passing for Four yards. He was changed by Kyle Allen. The Panthers offered no replace on the extent of the harm after the sport.


This might need been the ultimate recreation for Panthers tight finish Greg Olsen, who has one 12 months left on his contract however may very well be a casualty of a rebuilding effort.


One space the Panthers might want to handle within the offseason is their run protection.

Carolina surrendered 31 touchdowns speeding this season, which tied for essentially the most for the reason that NFL-AFL merger. Carolina got here into the sport ranked 31st within the league in speeding protection, partially due to accidents to defensive tackles Kawann Quick and Dontari Poe.

“It is about shedding blocks, getting off blocks, whipping the man in entrance of you and tackling,” Fewell stated. “And we did not do this very properly.”


The Panthers held a second of silence earlier than the sport to honor the reminiscence of Carly McCord, who died in a aircraft crash on Saturday in Lafayette, Louisiana. McCord had served as an in-game reporter for the Saints.

She was on a small aircraft en path to Atlanta for the School Soccer Playoff recreation between LSU and Oklahoma. Her father-in-law is Steve Ensminger, LSU’s offensive coordinator.


Saints: Performed with out three starters within the secondary — cornerback Eli Apple (ankle) and safeties Vonn Bell (knee) and Marcus Williams (groin).

Panthers: Performed with out 1,000-yard receiver D.J. Moore (concussion) and linebacker Shaq Thompson (shoulder/foot).


Panthers: Will decide on their subsequent head coach within the coming weeks. Ron Rivera was fired with 4 video games left within the season. Former Packers coach Mike McCarthy and Baylor coach Matt Rhule are candidates together with Fewell, however the Panthers are anticipated to interview a number of assistant coaches nonetheless within the playoff hunt.

Saints: Will host Minnesota subsequent weekend.


Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL


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CBD firm to promote at doorstep of Patriots’ stadium


Hashish is knocking on the NFL’s door, however it could possibly’t get in.

Not but, at the least.

The house of the New England Patriots has a brand new sponsorship deal that can put a cannabidiol firm’s hemp leaf emblem on a water tower looming over the stadium and on an indication overlooking an entrance.

Former Patriots tight finish Rob Gronkowski was available to announce the cope with Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place, a mall additionally managed by Patriots proprietor Robert Kraft, that brings the banned substance to the doorstep of the NFL with out violating league insurance policies in opposition to it.

“We’re not allowed to be throughout the stadium itself,” mentioned Perry Antelman, the CEO of Rhode Island-based Abacus Well being Merchandise. “That is as much as the NFL. I do know that they’re working with and finding out various medicines to assist the athletes.”

The NFL drug coverage, which is negotiated with the gamers’ union, bans groups and lively gamers from sponsorship offers with cannabinoids, which embody marijuana but additionally hemp-based merchandise like CBD that do not embody the high-inducing THC. The league exams for THC and advises gamers to not take CBD merchandise as a result of they could comprise it.

However as states start to raise or loosen their prohibitions on marijuana, main sports activities leagues are reconsidering their bans on therapeutic and even leisure hashish use. An NFL committee shaped in Might is hoping to ascertain insurance policies on using prescription medicine and on ache administration, together with various therapies that might free gamers to make use of CBD.

“We hear that it’s coming round. Whether or not that is six months, 9 months, 12 months or 18 months, we do not know but,” Antelman mentioned. “When it does come round, we’re hoping that will probably be one of many first to be within the stadium.”

Gronkowski, who retired final spring at 29, is free to endorse the product, CBDMEDIC. However until the principles change he couldn’t make a much-rumored comeback with out severing ties with the corporate.

“I do not need to be banned from taking part in the game I really like as a result of I am utilizing a product that I can purchase, or anybody can purchase, at their native pharmacy proper off the shelf. It is that straightforward. I additionally need to have the choice to get again into the sport and if I am banned subsequent 12 months, I can not,” he mentioned, studying off a teleprompter earlier than going off script and pointing at members of the viewers. “You recognize you need to see me on the market. … I do know you do.”

Though he was generally known as a partyer in his taking part in days, Gronkowski insisted he was popping out just for CBD and never leisure drug use, and since he thinks it might have helped him endure the ache of an NFL season. He recounted a few of his operations and different accidents, right down to the opposing participant and the spot on his physique that ached afterward.

“I am not advocating for marijuana however for CBD. And never for partying, however for recovering,” he mentioned, including: “You recognize me, a bit occasion in there.”


Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL


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