Review Category : National Sports

Mark Teixeira: Back Has Been ‘Pretty Painful’

Robert Rogers/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira has been battling a lower lat strain for the past few weeks that will keep him out of the lineup the next few days.

Teixeira got an MRI on Sunday that revealed a Grade 1 strain of the latissimus dorsi muscle on the left side of his back and said he experienced the pain in mid-June.

“Throwing, hitting — anything with any type of rotation, it’s been pretty painful,” Teixeira said. “The spasms, unfortunately, have gone from my neck to my lower back, up and down the whole time. We just kind of put the fires out, and finally when the pain ratcheted up, it was one spot.”

Teixeira has spent time on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury already this season and said that it’s frustrating being a 34-year-old player.

“It’s tough. I thought the year off last year would kind of give me a fountain of youth, and it’s just made me rusty,” Teixeira said. “That’s the way it feels. It’s been something. Every game, it’s something. I’m still happy with the way I’ve played when I’m healthy; I just need to get healthy again.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Monday that Teixeira’s back problems were “not a DL situation at this time.”

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Mike Pettine: Manziel Will Be a ‘Non-Story’ in Camp

Elsa/Getty Images(BEREA, Ohio) — Johnny Manziel’s off-field activity has been a major story dating back to his days at Texas A&M, but Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine believes it will “be a non-story” once training camp kicks off this weekend.

“It’s something that was a hot topic for the offseason just because of who he is,” Pettine said. “It’s a very unique thing. I don’t think he can get a handle on the why. Is his behavior that much different from the average NFL player?”

Manziel was drafted by the Browns in the first round of May’s NFL draft. When he wasn’t working out in Ohio during the offseason, the former Heisman Trophy winner has been photographed in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Mexico.

Pettine went on to say that none of these photos reflected badly on the organization.

“I just think to over react to stuff that’s occurred before he’s even taken a snap in training camp, we weren’t going to do that,” he said. “And it’s been such a small sample of him being here. While he’s been here he’s been great.”

Manziel is expected to compete with Brian Hoyer for the starting quarterback job when the Browns open up their training camp on July 26.

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Top WR Nate Craig Commits to Auburn

BananaStock/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Nate Craig, the No. 1 wide receiver and No. 6 player overall in the ESPN Junior 300, verbally committed to play football for the University of Auburn on Monday night.

Craig chose the Tigers over USC, Ohio State, and Alabama.

“I just thought Auburn was the best fit for me,” Craig said. “I got to go up there this weekend and spend some time with coach [Dameyune] Craig and coach [Gus] Malzahn and that just sealed the deal for me.”

“I was at Alabama for the whole week, but just building a relationship with the Auburn coaches and coach Craig was a big impact on my recruitment and did a great job. With coach Malzahn I got to spend some time with him and then I sat down with my mom and decided to make a decision,” he continued.

The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Craig caught 37 passes for 502 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore for Tampa Catholic High School this past season.

Auburn now has three commits for the class of 2016.

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ESPN: Donald Sterling Meets with Steve Ballmer

(NEW YORK) — Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling met with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Monday in Los Angeles to discuss the pending sale of the team, according to ESPN.

Sterling and Ballmer met for about 90 minutes at Sterling’s house in Beverly Hills in their first face-to-face meeting since Ballmer negotiated the record-setting sale with Shelly Sterling on May 29. Sources say it was a “friendly conversation.”

A settlement has yet to be reached, but the sale of the team will reportedly be worth $2 billion.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said last week that he wasn’t sure a new owner of the Clippers would be in place by the start of next season.

The original agreement called for the sale to close by July 15, with a possible extension to Aug. 15, but Donald Sterling has vowed to fight his termination and the sale of the team.

Ballmer is ready to buy the Clippers, but an issue in that case is whether Shelly Sterling was authorized to sell the franchise to him without the authorization of her husband.

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Dan Uggla Signs with Giants

Tony Firriolo/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Just three days after being released by the Atlanta Braves, Dan Uggla signed a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants on Monday. The second baseman reported to Triple-A Fresno upon signing the deal.

“This is a chance for us to take a look at him and evaluate him, and a chance for him to go down and get his timing and get some playing time,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. “At some point we’re going to have to make a call. I can’t say he’s going to be up here in the next few days, no. He needs some playing time right now.”

A three-time All-Star, Uggla was in his fourth season with Atlanta, but was hitting an abysmal .162 with just 10 RBI and two home runs in 48 games. The 34-year-old struck out 495 times in 451 games with the Braves from 2011-13 while also putting together a franchise record 33-game hitting streak.

Uggla underwent eye surgery last summer and was left off the Braves postseason roster before being reinserted in Spring Training.

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Dan Uggla Signs with Giants

Tony Firriolo/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Just three days after being released by the Atlanta Braves, Dan Uggla signed a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants on Monday. The second baseman reported to Triple-A Fresno upon signing the deal.

“This is a chance for us to take a look at him and evaluate him, and a chance for him to go down and get his timing and get some playing time,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. “At some point we’re going to have to make a call. I can’t say he’s going to be up here in the next few days, no. He needs some playing time right now.”

A three-time All-Star, Uggla was in his fourth season with Atlanta, but was hitting an abysmal .162 with just 10 RBI and two home runs in 48 games. The 34-year-old struck out 495 times in 451 games with the Braves from 2011-13 while also putting together a franchise record 33-game hitting streak.

Uggla underwent eye surgery last summer and was left off the Braves postseason roster before being reinserted in Spring Training.

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First Female Referee Assigned to Big 12 Football

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — Big 12 Football will make another bit of history when the college football season kicks off this fall. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced on Monday that the first female referee in league history has been assigned to work one of its games.

Bowlsby said Catherine “Cat” Conti will be on the field during Kansas’ home opener on Sept. 6 against Southeast Missouri State. Conti had previously worked as an official with the Southland Conference.

The league commissioner noted that Conti has paid her dues and earned a chance to be on the field. Bowlsby also explained that Walt Anderson, Big 12 officiating supervisor, assigned Conti to the game because, “she is just a darned good official.”

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First Female Referee Assigned to Big 12 Football

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — Big 12 Football will make another bit of history when the college football season kicks off this fall. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced on Monday that the first female referee in league history has been assigned to work one of its games.

Bowlsby said Catherine “Cat” Conti will be on the field during Kansas’ home opener on Sept. 6 against Southeast Missouri State. Conti had previously worked as an official with the Southland Conference.

The league commissioner noted that Conti has paid her dues and earned a chance to be on the field. Bowlsby also explained that Walt Anderson, Big 12 officiating supervisor, assigned Conti to the game because, “she is just a darned good official.”

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Michael Cooper Diagnosed with Cancer

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Current Atlanta Dream head coach and former Los Angeles Lakers guard Michael Cooper has been diagnosed with early stage tongue cancer. Cooper has taken a leave of absence from the team and will have surgery this week, the Dream said on Monday.

Assistant coach Karleen Thompson will fill in for the 58-year-old, who is expected to miss two weeks. Cooper will have surgery at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta and is expected to make a full recovery.

“I’m fortunate that my condition was diagnosed early, and this episode illustrates the importance of screening and early detection,” said Cooper. “I know the team will be in good hands with Coach Thompson at the helm during my absence, and I look forward to returning to the court soon.”

Cooper won five NBA titles while playing for the Lakers during the “Showtime” era. He also won consecutive WNBA titles as the coach of the Los Angeles Sparks. This is Cooper’s first season with the Dream, which currently holds a 15-6 record.

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Big 12 Commissioner: “Cheating Pays”

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(DALLAS) — During his annual state of the league address at the Big 12 media day, commissioner Bob Bowlsby proclaimed Monday that “cheating pays” in intercollegiate athletics.

“Enforcement is broken. The infractions committee hasn’t had a hearing in almost a year,” said Bowlsby. “It’s not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions.”

Bowlsby continued by saying he does not believe cheating is a widespread epidemic, but that he fears for the future of the NCAA and its student-athletes.

“We certainly are operating in a strange environment in that we have lawsuits,” explained the commissioner. “I think all of that in the end will cause programs to be eliminated.”

While slamming college sports’ governing body, Bowlsby did come to the defense of the collegiate model, saying that he was against the unionization of student-athletes.

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