Review Category : National Sports

ESPN: Hornets Agree to 4-Year Extension with Walker

Christopher Trottman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Guard Kemba Walker agreed to a four-year, $48 million extension with the Charlotte Hornets that will begin during the 2015-16 season, according to ESPN.com.

The deal stops Walker from becoming a restricted free agent in July.

The 24-year-old Walker, who Charlotte selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft, averaged 17.7 points and a career high 4.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game last season.

The re-signing of Walker marks another big move for the Hornets, who signed guard Lance Stephenson to a three-year, $28 million deal this summer.

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Rams Acquire Barron in Deadline Deal with Bucs

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded safety Mark Barron to the St. Louis Rams Tuesday.

The Rams sent a fourth and sixth-round pick to Tampa in exchange for the 25-year-old Barron before the 4 p.m. trade deadline, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Barron, selected by the Bucs with the 7th overall pick in the 2012 Draft, had 49 tackles this season for Tampa — good for second-best on the team. But it was reported that Barron would sometimes struggle with the defensive system implemented by new head coach Lovie Smith.

Barron helps the Rams which lost safety Rodney McLeod to a knee injury in the team’s loss to Kansas City Sunday.

The Buccaneers also sent 27-year-old linebacker Jonathan Casillas to the New England Patriots in exchange for a fifth and sixth-round pick, according to Schefter.

“We have a lot of respect for Jonathan and Mark as players,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said in a release. “We appreciate their hard work and what they did for us here. In some of these cases with trades, we find a partner where they feel that their services are needed more there than they are here. That’s the case here. We wish them the best and nothing but the best. They’ve been great program guys here for (Head Coach) Lovie (Smith) and myself. Hope nothing but the best for them in the future.”

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Royals Stomp Giants, Force Game 7

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — The Kansas City Royals made sure early on their season wouldn’t end Tuesday night.

The Royals exploded for seven runs in the second inning, chasing San Francisco Giants starter Jake Peavy out of the game, in route to a 10-0 smashing of the Giants to force a Game 7 in the World Series.

The Royals’ bats, which were mainly held at bay the last three games in San Francisco, came to life in Game 6.

All nine Kansas City starters had at least one hit, and seven of them had at least one RBI in the win.

“Guys stepped up in a big way tonight,” Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain said.

Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura pitched seven innings of shutout ball, allowing three hits and five walks, while striking out four.

Peavy only lasted 1 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and five runs, ballooning his career World Series ERA to 9.58 in three starts.

The do-or-die Game 7 is Wednesday night in Kansas City.

Tim Hudson takes the mound for the Giants. He’ll be opposed by Jeremy Guthrie.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/28/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NBA: New Orleans Pelicans 101 (1-0) – Orlando Magic 84 (0-1)

San Antonio Spurs 101 (1-0) – Dallas Mavericks 100 (0-1)

NHL: Minnesota Wild 4 (5-3-0; 10pts) – Boston Bruins 3 (5-6-0; 10pts)

Ottawa Senators 5 (5-2-1; 11pts) – Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (4-5-0; 8pts)

Pittsburgh Penguins 8 (5-2-1; 11pts) – New Jersey Devils 3 (4-3-2; 10pts)

Winnipeg Jets 4 (4-5-0; 8pts) – New York Islanders 3 (6-3-0; 12pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 3 (4-3-2; 10pts) – Los Angeles Kings 2 (6-1-2; 14pts) OT

Tampa Bay Lightning 7 (6-3-1; 13pts) – Arizona Coyotes 3 (3-4-1; 7pts)

Toronto Maple Leafs 4 (4-4-1; 9pts) – Buffalo Sabres 0 (2-8-0; 4pts)

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Blue Jays Claim 1B Justin Smoak off Waivers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TORONTO) — The Toronto Blue Jays claimed first baseman Justin Smoak off waivers from the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.

In 80 regular-season games this past season with the M’s, the 27-year-old batted .202 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs. He also scored 28 runs and had an OBP of .275.

Smoak was originally selected out of the University of South Carolina by the Texas Rangers with the 11th overall pick in the 2008 MLB amateur draft. On 2010, the Rangers dealt him along with minor league second baseman Matt Lawson and right-handed pitchers Blake Beaven and Josh Leueke to the Seattle Mariners for Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee and right-handed pitcher Mark Lowe.

Smoak owns a career batting average .224 across five big-league seasons.

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Report: Former Broncos CB Champ Bailey Retires

iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) — Former Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey decided to hang up his cleats for good on Tuesday, according to ESPN.

The 36-year-old Bailey spent the past ten seasons with the Broncos, where he had 522 tackles, 34 interceptions and two sacks in 132 regular-season games. He was released by Denver following the 2013 season.

Bailey was originally selected out of Georgia by the Redskins with the seventh overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft. In five seasons with Washington, he recorded 18 interceptions and one sack in 80 regular-season games. The Redskins dealt Bailey to the Broncos on March 4, 2004 for running back Clinton Portis.

Bailey finishes his career tied for the second-most Pro Bowl selections ever for a defensive player, with 12.

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Rays Deny Rumors They’re Interested in Moving to Montreal

Zoonar/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Will Major League Baseball move back to Montreal? Not so fast says the Tampa Bay Rays who are denying rumors that the franchise may be interested in relocating to Montreal.

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reports that Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has had discussions with “wealthy Wall Street associates” about possibly moving the team to Montreal.

Whether the report is true or not, the team felt it was necessary to address it in a statement.

“We are committed to making baseball work in the Tampa Bay region,” the statement read. “We will do everything we can to make that happen and right now things are moving in a productive and positive direction. We have not spoken to Montreal — or any other city, including Tampa — about relocation at any point.”

The Rays have been one of the better teams in the American League since they made the World Series back in 2008.

Still, attendance has been below average annually. This past season, the Rays ranked dead last in Major League Baseball in attendance and are locked into their current lease at Tropicana Field until 2027.

The Expos left Montreal after the 2004 season.

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Ravens Cornerback Jimmy Smith to Miss a Few Weeks

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(OWINGS MILLS, Md.) — While getting ready for a pivotal game against their NFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens will have to do so without top cornerback Jimmy Smith as he’ll miss the next few weeks with a sprained left foot.

Smith suffered the injury on the opening drive of the team’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

“He’ll be back soon,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Monday.

Aside from being one of the top defensive backs on the team, Smith is emerging as one of the top young cornerbacks in the NFL. He leads the Ravens with eight passes defended.

The Ravens are thin when it comes to cornerbacks now — Ladarius Webb, Dominique Franks, Chykie Brown are the only healthy corners the team has.

At 5-3, the Ravens and Steelers are tied for second in their division, with the Bengals holding a half-game lead over both teams at 4-2-1.

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Rams Lose Jake Long and Brian Quick to Season-Ending Injuries

Leon Halip/Getty Images(EARTH CITY, Mo.) — The injuries continue to pile up for the St. Louis Rams as tackle Jake Long will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL while wide receiver Brian Quick will also miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder.

This is the second time Long has tore his ACL in under a year, same with starting quarterback Sam Bradford, who has missed the entire season.

When on the field, Long has been as good as advertised for the Rams as he’s provided steady protection for quarterback Austin Davis this season.

For Quick, this is a tough blow for him as he was firmly establishing himself as the Rams go-to wide receiver. In just seven games this season, Quick had already set career highs in catches, yards, and touchdowns.

“He was very productive,” Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said. “He took advantage of all the opportunities, he made tough plays, tough catches, we’re going to miss him. But as is the case when you have injured players, people step up so we have got to have people step up.”

Receivers Stedman Bailey and Chris Givens will see an increase in playing time now.

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World Series Game 6 Preview

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, MO) — The Kansas City Royals title hopes are on the brink with a tough matchup against the San Francisco Giants’ Jake Peavy in game six of the World Series.

The Royals are nicked up but that won’t slow them down according to outfielder Lorenzo Cain.

“I’ll be ready to go. We’re all dealing with stuff right now,” said Cain, who has been playing through leg pain. “I’ve done the best I could to stay healthy and just stay on the field.”

Even though the Royals smacked four runs in against Peavy in game 2, hitting coach Dale Sveum explained to MLB Network that the pitcher will prove to be a tough matchup the second time around.

“He’s not going to give in, he’s going to keep the ball down,” Sveum explained. “He still knows how to pitch. He competes as well as anybody. He’s just a guy you are going to have to get up in the zone and be patient on.”

For the Royals, they will send out Yordano Ventura; a young pitcher that manager Ned Yost believes is ready for the moment.”

“His confidence is just staggering,” Yost said. “You walk in that clubhouse and he looks you square in the eye with that glint that says, ‘I’m ready for this.'”

Ventura may have the confidence, but as Giants manager Bruce Bochy explains, his team has got the experience.

“They’re not going to change anything, they’re not going to put any added pressure on themselves,” Bochy said. “They’ve been through so much with their history in the postseason.”

Youthful exhuberance versus established experience. Game six at Kaufman Stadium should be an entertaining game for any baseball fan.

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