Review Category : National Sports

Scoreboard Roundup 10/23/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NFL: Denver 35 (6-1) – San Diego 21 (5-3)

NCAAF: (18) East Carolina 31 (5-1) – Connecticut 21 (1-5)

Miami (FL) 30 (5-3) – Virginia Tech 6 (4-4)

NHL: New York Islanders 3 (5-2-0, 10 pts) – Boston Bruins 2 (4-5-0, 8 pts)

Detroit Red Wings 4 (4-1-2, 10 pts) – Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (3-2-1, 7 pts) (F/OT)

Minnesota Wild 2 (3-2-0, 6 pts) – Arizona Coyotes 0 (2-3-1, 5 pts)

Nashville Predators 3 (5-0-2, 12 pts) – Chicago Blackhawks 2 (4-1-1, 9 pts)

Vancouver Canucks 4 (4-2-0, 8 pts) – St. Louis Blues 1 (2-3-1, 5 pts)

Calgary Flames (4-3-1, 9 pts) – Carolina Hurricanes (0-3-2, 2 pts)

Buffalo Sabres (1-6-0, 2 pts) – Los Angeles Kings (4-1-1, 9 pts)

Columbus Blue Jackets (3-2-0, 6 pts) – San Jose Sharks (4-2-1, 9 pts)

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Atlanta Braves Name John Hart President of Baseball Operations

Tom Szcaerbowski/Getty Images(ATLANTA, GA) — John Hart has accepted a permanent role as president of baseball operations with the Atlanta Braves.

The team announced that Hart has signed a three-year deal that will run through the 2017 season.

Atlanta fired longtime GM Frank Wren after a disappointing 2014 season that saw the Braves finish 79-83, and named Hart as interim GM. Wren had been the GM since 1990.

Earlier in October the Braves had offered Hart the role of general manager, but he turned down the role. Now Hart will likely search for the man to take on the challenge as Braves GM.

“I’m delighted that John Hart has agreed to accept the position of President, Baseball Operations,” team president John Schuerholz said in a press release. “Our organization is now poised to move forward in the best possible manner to do the important work that lies ahead. John’s credentials speak for themselves. He has had great success as a baseball executive and demonstrated remarkable ability to construct championship teams. We are excited by John’s dynamic and positive leadership style and look forward to him leading our baseball operations.”

Hart certainly has the pieces in place to contend for a title. With star players like Freddy Freeman, Jason Heyward, and Justin and BJ Upton, the Braves have the players for a potent offense.

“You certainly love your star players, but I tell you I love the winning players,” Hart said. “I like the players with grit. I like players that care more about winning than anything else. It’s a team game and it is about winning.”

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Mettenberger To Start For Struggling Titans

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NASHVILLE, TN) — A new era is likely beginning in Tennessee, as the Titans have announced rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger will start this Sunday against the Houston Texans.

Mettenberger, a sixth-round pick out of LSU, will replace struggling starter Jake Locker. Locker had missed the previous two games with a thumb injury and appeared ready to return, but head coach Ken Whisenhunt had other ideas.

“We’re going with Zach and we’re going to stay with Zach,” Whisenhunt said.

The Titans have had trouble scoring points this season. They are averaging 17.3 points per game, ranking 28th in the NFL. They rank 27th with 320.3 yards per game.

”No question he’s a talented, young player, and maybe it’ll give us a spark,” Whisenhunt said. ”Offensively, we haven’t exactly been lighting it up, so that’s part of it in consideration.”

This will likely be the end of Locker’s career as a Titan. Locker was the first-round pick of the Titans in 2011. Struggling through injuries and inconsistent play, Locker never quite reached the expectations that had him once projected to be the first overall pick in the 2010 draft.

Locker will be a free agent at the end of the season after the Titans declined his 2015 option.

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Michigan State Coach Is Looking Forward to Rivalry with Michigan Saturday

David Dermer/ Diamond Images/ Getty Images(EAST LANSING, Mich.) — Eighth-ranked Michigan State will look to add a sixth victory in the in-state rivalry between Michigan under head coach Mark Dantonio on Saturday.

Since coming over to East Lansing, Dantonio has won five out of six games against the Wolverines, who are 3-4 this season. Still, Dantonio is excited about the rivalry.

“It gets in your blood a little bit, it’s just the way it is,” Dantonio said on Tuesday. “It just divides the state so it makes it unique in that respect, and you embrace it, you get involved in it, and it’s in you.”

Dantonio says despite Michigan’s poor record this year, the team still gets pumped up for any rivalry.

“I think they’re basically competitors,” Dantonio said. “You’re going to get yourself ready to play every football game. Sometimes the more important the game is, the more the competiveness comes out in you and I think that’s the nature of this situation.”

The Spartan are 3-0 in the Big Ten this season and Michigan is 1-2. Still, Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner said they’re just focused on the game ahead and not the season.

“We’re not thinking about ruining their season,” he added. “This is about us. I want to win this game as bad as I’ve wanted to win any game.”

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Gus Malzahn Says He Expects South Carolina’s Best

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(AUBURN, Ala.) — Fifth-ranked Auburn is preparing for a South Carolina team that came into the season ranked in the top-ten, not the current one that sits at 4-3.

Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn said this week that he believes South Carolina will be pumped up for a big game on the road.

“They got good players, we expect to get their best,” Malzahn said.

Malzahn also knows the opposing coach Steve Spurrier very well and credited the way he prepares his players.

“[I've] always looked up to Coach Spurrier,” Malzahn said. “[I] have nothing but respect for the way he operates. He’s got a great offensive mind. I got to know him off the field, he’s a super guy, and one of the best.”

South Carolina is 1-1 on the road this season and is averaging 35.1 points on offense, but the Tigers only allow 18.1 points per game.

“We look forward to going to Auburn,” Spurrier said on Tuesday. “You got to believe you have a chance if your team plays very well. We’re going in with the idea that we’re going to get in a battle with them.”

“We’ve got to play very well offensively, defensively, and on special teams,” he continued. “Hopefully they’ll drop the ball a little bit or something good like that will happen for us.”

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NBA Doesn’t Pass Lottery Reform

Ingrim Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There will be no changes to the NBA’s draft lottery process.

At the league’s board of governors meeting Wednesday, there was a vote to change the odds of who wins the draft, but it fell six votes short of passing.

The reason for the proposed change was to try to deter teams from losing on purpose in order to boost their chances of getting a better pick in the draft lottery.

Under the proposed plan, the four teams with the worst record would have identical odds of winning the rights to the first pick, with each team after that having declining odds.

As the system stands now, you have a 25% chance to win the top pick if you finish with the worst record, while the team with the second worst record has a 19.9% chance. Every team’s odds decline slightly by pick.

“I think, in essence, the owners were concerned about unintended consequences,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “I think we all recognize we need to find the right balance between creating the appropriate incentives on one hand for teams to, of course, win, and on the other hand allowing for appropriate rebuilding and the draft to work as it should in which the worst performing teams get the highest picks in the draft.”

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ESPN: Goodell Must Testify at Ray Rice Hearing

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell must take the stand and testify at the hearing for the appeal of Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

ESPN also reports that the hearing will take place Nov. 5-6.

Rice was originally suspended for two games by Goodell for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy for allegedly striking his then fiancée, now wife Janay unconscious in an elevator in Atlantic City.

The suspension was then made indefinite once a video surfaced of the event in question. Because Rice was punished twice, the players’ union is appealing the suspension. However, the league insists the video was new evidence, meaning Goodell could add to Rice’s punishment.

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Royals Explode for 5 in the Sixth, Even Series 1-1

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — The Kansas City Royals erupted for five runs in the sixth inning, capped off by a two-run home run by Omar Infante, en route to a 7-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants in Game 2 of the World Series Wednesday.

The best-of-seven series is tied at 1-1.

It was a tight game until the sixth. Gregor Blanco led off the game with a home run off Yordano Ventura to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. The Royals answered right back at the bottom half off the inning when Billy Butler laced a single to left, scoring Lorenzo Cain to even the score. The Royals took the lead in the second when Alcides Escobar smacked a double, driving in Infante, but the Giants answered back in the fourth when Brandon Belt hit an RBI double. The score stayed the same until the bottom of the sixth, when the Royals went on their scoring binge.

Ventura pitched 5 1/3 innings allowing eight hits, two runs, zero walks, while striking out two. Jake Peavy takes the loss. He pitched five innings allowing six hits, four runs, and two walks, while striking out one.

Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland combined to pitch 3 2/3 scoreless innings to close out the game.

The series now shifts to San Francisco. Game 3 is Friday night. The Royals send Jeremy Guthrie to the mound, he will be opposed by Tim Hudson.

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L.A. Dodgers Pitcher Dan Haren Has Surgery

iStockphoto(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Dan Haren underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder Wednesday afternoon, the club said. The procedure, which lasted 30 minutes, cleaned out bursitis and the AC joint in his non-throwing arm.

Haren is expected to begin rehab next week and should be ready by the start of spring training.

In 32 starts this season for the Dodgers, the 34-year-old went 13-11 with a 4.02 ERA. He had 145 strikeouts in 186 innings of work.

During his 12-year big league career with the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers, Haren has compiled a record of 142-122 with a 3.77 ERA. He was named to the All-Star team from 2007-2009.

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S.D. Padres Fire Hitting Coach Phil Plantier

Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — The San Diego Padres fired hitting coach Phil Plantier on Wednesday. Under his watch, the Padres finished this past season batting just .226, worst in the majors.

The Padres will be looking for their seventh hitting coach since they moved into Petco Park in 2004.

In 2014, Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko led the team in RBIs with 51 while playing in only 111 games. San Diego was shut out 19 times during the season, including getting no-hit by the Giants’ Tim Lincecum on June 25.

The Padres finished the season 77-85, their best record since 2010.

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