Review Category : National Sports

Angels star outfielder Mike Trout looks to steal 40 bases

Scott Clarke/ESPN Images(TEMPE, Ariz.) — Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout says he has a new personal goal for 2017: stealing 40 or more bases this season. The reigning American League MVP told that to reporters as the Angels start spring training.

The goal is certainly attainable for Trout. He stole 49 bases in 2012, and reached 30 last year. However, between 2014 and 2015, he stole just 27 total bases.

Although he puts up consistently stellar numbers, Trout continues to improve. After leading the majors in strikeouts in 2014, his total strikeouts have dropped over the past two seasons. He even went on to lead the majors in walks last year.

He wants to win the American League Most Valuable Player award for the second year in a row, but is also focused on bringing the Angels back to the postseason. Los Angeles has made the playoffs just once since 2010, and finished 74-88 last year, the franchise’s first losing record since 2013.

Trout is widely regarded as the best player in the game. He has made the All-Star team in each of his first five seasons, and has finished top two in MVP voting every year, taking home two awards.

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New York Yankees and star pitcher Dellin Betances in heated exchange over arbitration case

Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The New York Yankees and star relief pitcher Dellin Betances engaged in a verbal battle over an arbitration hearing.

An arbitrator decided in the Yankees’ favor, awarding Betances three million dollars for 2017 instead of the five million he sought. The $5 million request from Jim Murray, Betances’ agent, upset team president Randy Levine.

Levine went on to publicly criticize Murray during a conference call, saying the agent valued Betances as an elite closer instead of a top-tier setup man. He added that Murray made Betances a “victim,” overvaluing him and trying to change the marketplace.

Betances responded to the incident, saying he will “look at it a little differently now.” He added, “free agency will be a little easier when the time comes.” Betances is scheduled to be a free agent in 2020.

Betances doesn’t often pitch in the ninth inning, but often pitches multiple innings in a game and leads all relievers in strikeouts over the past three years.

Elite closers around baseball get paid much more than five million dollars a year: Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is making over $17 million this season.

ESPN reports Betances will instead get the highest amount for a first-year arbitration eligible setup man in baseball history.

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Scoreboard roundup — 2/18/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

Buffalo 3 St. Louis 2
Winnipeg 3 Montreal 1
SO Detroit 3 Washington 2
New Jersey 3 N-Y Islanders 2
Edmonton 3 Chicago 1
Ottawa 6 Toronto 3
Minnesota 5 Nashville 2
San Jose 4 Arizona 1
OT Dallas 4 Tampa Bay 3
Florida 3 L.A. Kings 2
OT Vancouver 2 Calgary 1

(1) Gonzaga 82 Pacific 61
(2) Villanova 92 Seton Hall 70
(3) Kansas 67 (4) Baylor 65
(5) Arizona 76 Washington 68
(6) UCLA 102 Southern Cal 70
(7) Oregon 101 Colorado 73
(8) Louisville 94 Virginia Tech 90
2OT (9) West Virginia 83 Texas Tech 74
(10) North Carolina 65 (14) Virginia 41
(12) Duke 99 Wake Forest 94
(13) Kentucky 82 Georgia 77
(15) Florida 57 Mississippi St. 52
(16) Purdue 80 Michigan St. 63
Pittsburgh 80 (17) Florida St. 66
(18) Cincinnati 80 Tulsa 60
(19) SMU 76 Houston 66
Vanderbilt 71 (21) South Carolina 62
(22) Saint Mary’s (Cal) 70 BYU 57
(25) Notre Dame 81 NC State 72

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Pirates star Andrew McCutchen talks about position switch

Allen Kee/ESPN Images(PITTSBURGH) — Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen is switching positions from center field to right field. McCutchen was abruptly informed last month he would be making a move to right field from center. Right field is a position he’s played just once in his 12-year professional career dating back to the minor leagues.

The five-time all-star and former MVP spoke to reporters about the move for the first time at spring training. He says it took him awhile to process that he was no longer playing center field. But he says the player taking his place, standout defender Starling Marte, is a great option.

The position switch capped what proved to be a trying calendar year for McCutchen. He watched his batting average drop close to 40 points below his career average in 2016, and he was not playing defense at the same level that earned him a Gold Glove award in 2012.

Following a long offseason of trade rumors, McCutchen told reporters he is, “just happy to be here” at Pirates spring training. He did not expect he would be playing for Pittsburgh when he was one of the most discussed trade pieces during December’s winter meetings.

McCutchen concedes that he still could be traded midseason should the Pirates not be contending for a playoff spot. While he is still a Pirate though, he says he wants to prove 2016 was a fluke and show fans “that this is just the beginning of some good stuff.”

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Claude Julien returns to Montreal

iStock/Thinkstock(MONTREAL) — The Montreal Canadiens new head coach Claude Julien hit the ice for the first time with his new team on Friday in front of hundreds of fans.

When Julien returned to Quebec on Friday for his first practice he arrived to an arena filled with hudrends of fans and media representatives. Both french and english-speaking broadcasts were streaming the practice live.

Julien returns to the Montreal bench after being fired by the club in 2003. Since then, he has coached the New Jersey Devils and won the 2011 Stanley Cup as the head coach of the Boston Bruins.

According to Senior Managing Editor Apron Basu, the coach took the attention of friday’s practice in stride, saying; “I’m back here and happy to be back here,” he said. “Is it weird? Not really.”

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NCAA Men’s Hockey Announces CLASS Award Finalists

iStock/Thinkstock(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) — Ten NCAA men’s hockey student-athletes were selected as finalists on Friday for the 2016-17 Senior CLASS Award.

CLASS, an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, recognizes the complete student-athlete and encourages students to use their respective platforms as positive role models in their communities.

The ten athletes were chosen from a list of candidates announced in January.

The NCAA announced the Men’s Hockey Finalists as:

Gavin Bayreuther, St. Lawrence
Will Butcher, Denver
Parker Gahagen, Army West Point
David Goodwin, Penn State
Brendan Harms, Bemidji State
Johnny Hrabovsky, Air Force
Alexander Kerfoot, Harvard
Brock Maschmeyer, Northern Michigan
Chad McDonald, Ferris State
John Stevens, Northeastern

Media representatives, Division I head coaches and nationwide fan voting will determine the winner.

The Senior CLASS Award recipient will be announced during the 2017 Men’s Frozen Four in Chicago on April 6, 2017.

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Charles Oakley to join 3-on-3 league

Getty/Rick Madonik (NEW YORK) – While his feud with New York Knicks owner James Dolan continues, Charles Oakley will suit up in the newly founded 3-on-3 league founded by rapper/entertainer Ice Cube as a player/coach.

Oakley, 53, will play with Chauncey Billups and Stephen Jackson in the inaugural season of the BIG3.

In a statement to ESPN, Ice Cube said, “Charles Oakley is an NBA legend, who deserves and has earned respect, and will get just that in our league.”

The league is expected to tip off this summer, and includes former NBA stars such as Allen Iverson, Jermaine O’Neal, and Rashard Lewis, among others.

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Former USA gymnastics doctor to stand trial over sex abuse claims

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A former Michigan State University and USA gymnastics doctor will go to trial over sex abuse allegations.

At a preliminary hearing Friday, an alleged victim took the stand, saying Larry Nassar sexually abused her at his home when she was a child. The now-25-year-old said her parents were friends with Nassar.

The judge presiding over the hearing decided that there is enough evidence for the former doctor to be tried on three counts of sexual misconduct.

This case is separate from the child pornography charges and lawsuit by dozens of women who say Nassar sexually assaulted them during gymnastics treatments over 20 years.

Nassar has denied all of the allegations.

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Darrelle Revis charged with four felonies after altercation in Pittsburgh

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(PITTSBURGH) — New York Jets football player Darrelle Revis was charged with four felonies for his alleged role in a Pittsburgh altercation this week, police said Thursday.

A court document showed that the charges include felony counts of robbery, conspiracy and two aggravated assaults charges, stemming from the 31-year old NFL player’s alleged involvement in an incident early Sunday morning with two males. Revis was also charged with a misdemeanor count of making terroristic threats.

But Blaine Jones, Revis’s lawyer, told ABC News that his client “was physically assaulted while at that location by a group of at least five people.”

Jones added that Revis “feared for his safety and retreated from the aggressors,” while also noting that his client later sought medical attention.

The altercation occurred at 2:43 a.m. on Sunday on Pittsburgh’s South Side, when two men — ages 21 and 22 — said they were hit by Revis after a verbal confrontation, Pittsburgh police said.

According to the police, a 22-year old male from Kittanning, Pennsylvania, spotted Revis, who acknowledged his identity when asked by the individual. After that, the male began recording Revis with his cell phone while following the NFL player.

According to police, Revis subsequently took the man’s phone and tried to delete his video recording. After a 21-year old male came to the other man’s assistance, Revis threw the phone on the ground, and a verbal argument ensued.

The 21-year-old and the 22-year-old say they were then both punched and knocked out, according to the statement, which said that area witnesses indicated they had been unconscious for 10 minutes.

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