Review Category : National Sports

Alabama Picked to Win SEC

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(HOOVER, Ala.) — Despite not even reaching the national championship game last year, SEC media members selected Alabama as the preseason favorite to win the conference this college football season.

The poll was revealed on Thursday, the final of four SEC media days. It showed what was a surprise to no one: Alabama vs. Auburn for the conference title.

The Crimson Tide (154) earned more votes than every other Southeastern Conference school combined. Auburn (75), South Carolina (32), Georgia (19), and LSU (9) rounded out the top 5.

“Arguably, they’ve got the greatest collection of football players ever assembled for a college team,” said South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. “If the recruiting services are correct, and they’re pretty much correct.”

Alabama also led the conference with nine players named to the preseason first-team. Wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back T.J. Yeldon were the top two vote-getters among all players.

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Jimmer Fredette Heads to the Pelicans

Jed Jacobson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The New Orleans Pelicans have found a new sharpshooter. The team agreed to terms with Jimmer Fredette on a one-year deal on Thursday, worth the league minimum.

Fredette, who was drafted by the Sacramento Kings, finished last season with the Chicago Bulls after earning his release from the Kings. The guard played sparingly in eight games with the Bulls, spending time on the roster during their playoff run.

Fredette’s best season came in his rookie year, 2011-12, when he averaged 7.6 points per game and shot 36.1 percent from beyond the arc.

The Pelicans hope that the former Brigham Young star will replace the production lost when Anthony Morrow signed with Oklahoma City.

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Lakers Claim Boozer off Amnesty Waivers

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Los Angeles Lakers added to their wealth of big men on Thursday, claiming forward Carlos Boozer off amnesty waivers. The Lakers won a blind bid against nine teams, putting up $3.25 million to garner Boozer’s rights, according to reports.

“We’re very pleased to have won the bidding process and to have gained his rights, and look forward to his contributions next season,” Mitch Kupchak, Lakers general manager, said in a news release.

Boozer was released via the amnesty clause by the Chicago Bulls just over a week ago, making it possible for Chicago to sign free agents Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic. The Bulls still must pay the remaining $13.6 million on his 2014-15 contract, but by utilizing the amnesty clause, the contract comes off the books for salary-cap and luxury-tax purposes.

Los Angeles has already signed a pair of power forwards, reaching agreements with both Ed Davis and Jordan Hill. Boozer averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in 76 contests for Chicago last season.

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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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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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Scoreboard Roundup – 7/17/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Golf – British Open Championship – First Round:

1. Rory McIlroy -6 (66)

2. Matteo Manassero -5 (67)

3. Edoardo Molinari -4 (68)

Brooks Koepka -4 (68)

Francesco Molinari -4 (68)

Jim Furyk -4 (68)

Sergio Garcia -4 (68)

Adam Scott -4 (68)

Shane Lowry -4 (68)

4. Tiger Woods -3 (69)

Robert Karlsson -3 (69)

Marc Leishman -3 (69)

Koumei Oda -3 (69)

Rickie Fowler -3 (69)

Hideki Matsuyama -3 (69)

Jimmy Walker -3 (69)

Yoshinobu Tsukada -3 (69)

Boo Weekley -3 (69)

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Texas Rangers Add a Pair of Catchers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) — The Texas Rangers activated catcher Geovany Soto from the 60-day disabled list and recalled catcher J.P. Arencibia from Triple-A Round Rock, the club announced on Thursday.

To make room for the pair on the 25-man and 40-man rosters, the Rangers designated first baseman Carlos Pena for assignment.

Soto, 31, has missed the entire season after tearing his lateral meniscus cartilage in his right knee during a spring training game on March 23.

In 20 games this season with Texas, Arencibia batted .133 (8-60) with one home run and six RBI.

The Rangers are 38-57, 21 games behind the Oakland Athletics for first place in the American League West division.

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LHP Brad Mills Claimed Off Waivers By Toronto Blue Jays

iStockphoto(TORONTO) — The Toronto Blue Jays claimed left-handed pitcher Brad Mills off of waivers from the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

In three starts this year with the A’s, the 29-year-old Mills went 1-1 with a 4.41 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. He struck out 14 batters in 16 1-3 innings of work.

Oakland acquired Mills earlier in the season from the Milwaukee Brewers, where he was pitching for Triple-A Nashville. He was 4-2 with a 1.56 ERA during his time with the Sounds.

To make room for Mills on the 40-man roster, Toronto designated right-handed pitcher Deck McGuire for assignment.

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Rory McIlroy Leads Day One of the British Open

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOYLAKE, England) — Rory McIlory has taken the British Open by storm after shooting a 6-under 66 on Thursday.

“It was pretty stress free to be honest,” McIlroy said after his round. “I got myself out of position a couple of times on the course but that was really it. And obviously no bogies when i did get myself out of position. I was able to get it up and down nicely. Just a really solid round of golf.”

Matteo Manassero made only one bogey and also shot 33 after the turn, resulting in second-place finish after one round at 5-under 67.

After a tough start to the day, Tiger Woods rebounded nicely to shoot a 3-under 69, which is tied for 10th.

Defending champions Phil Mickelson had a tough day on the course, shooting a 74 and closing with a bogey.

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Rory McIlroy Leads Day One of the British Open

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOYLAKE, England) — Rory McIlory has taken the British Open by storm after shooting a 6-under 66 on Thursday.

“It was pretty stress free to be honest,” McIlroy said after his round. “I got myself out of position a couple of times on the course but that was really it. And obviously no bogies when i did get myself out of position. I was able to get it up and down nicely. Just a really solid round of golf.”

Matteo Manassero made only one bogey and also shot 33 after the turn, resulting in second-place finish after one round at 5-under 67.

After a tough start to the day, Tiger Woods rebounded nicely to shoot a 3-under 69, which is tied for 10th.

Defending champions Phil Mickelson had a tough day on the course, shooting a 74 and closing with a bogey.

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