Review Category : National Sports

Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka Making Progress Towards Return this Season

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(ST. PETERSBURG) — The New York Yankees are still holding out hope that starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka can return this season.

Tanaka was on the mound for the first time in five weeks as he threw his first bullpen session since July 9. He was placed on the DL with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.

It was feared that Tanaka might need Tommy John Surgery at one point, but his recent progress shows he could at least avoid surgery.

“I felt very good,” said Tanaka. “I’m not going to go 100 percent on the first day of bullpens,” he said. “But I felt that I was able to throw the way I wanted to. Just the fact that I was able to get through it without any pain.”

If Tanaka is able to return to the mound, it would likely wouldn’t be for another month. The Yankees must weigh if it is worth pushing him to return.

In his rookie season, Tanaka has gone 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts.

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ESPN: Bears Agree to Deal with Wide Receiver Santonio Holmes

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Chicago Bears are rolling the dice on a potential big return as ESPN is reporting the team has agreed to terms on a deal with wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

The 30-year-old Holmes spent the past four seasons with the New York Jets, but has struggled to stay healthy the past two seasons.

He appeared in just four games in 2012 due to a lisfrank injury, and never fully regained his old form.

The team decided that it was time for both sides to mutually part ways as he didn’t figure into the teams future plans.

In 11 games last season, Holmes caught 23 passes for 456 yards and one touchdown. He appeared in all 16 regular season games just once during his time with the Jets.

With the Bears set at wide receiver with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, Holmes figures to be a complimentary part of an already explosive Bears offense under second-year head coach Mark Trestman.

In 2014, the Bears had the eighth ranked offense in the NFL.

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Sidney Crosby’s Feeling Good

Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images(ESTERO, Fla.) — Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said on Friday that his right wrist is feeling good.

Crosby won his second Hart Trophy last season and scored 104 points, but saw his team get knocked out of the playoffs by the Rangers in the first round.

“It’s good,” Crosby said of his treatment to the wrist. “You want to see how things progress throughout the summer once you start skating and get back to that regular routine. You want to see how it reacts so I’m happy with the way it’s gone.”

The Penguins hired general manager Jim Rutherford and coach Mike Johnston after cleaning house this offseason.

“We’re going to have some new faces in the dressing room trying to get that momentum and get a fresh start,” Crosby said. “We’re not happy with the way things ended last year.”

Crosby is ready to move on from the past and start to build something new with the people in charge.

“The organization is committed to winning,” Crosby said. “We have opportunities as players to be successful every year. As far as the team is concerned, I think we’re in a great position to win every year. We’ll do our best to do our part.”

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Paul George Doesn’t Blame Team USA

NBA via Indiana Pacers(INDIANAPOLIS) — Pacers All-Star Paul George spoke for the first time since breaking his leg during a Team USA scrimmage in Las Vegas on Friday.

George wasn’t putting any of the blame on Team USA for his “freak accident” and even said that he wanted to play on the 2016 Olympic team.

“Freak accidents happen,” George said. “USA Basketball doesn’t deserve any criticism from this.”

George said he plans on being a leader on the bench for the rest of his teammates while he recovers.

“I plan on making a full recovery coming back from this,” George said at a news conference. “I’m taking this in a positive way. I get to sit back and watch the game — and just learn.”

George and the Pacers haven’t set a date for his return, but the All-Star wants to fully recover before he gets back on the court to avoid any other injury.

“I feel guilty about not being there for the start of (the) season,” he said. “To not be a part of that, it hurts. Something I have to live with.

“The last thing I will do is feel like I am not a part of this team because I’m out.”

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Jeff Gordon Wins Pole for Michigan

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(BROOKLYN, Mich.) — Jeff Gordon set the track record and won the pole for Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.

Gordon has two wins this season and had a speed of 206.558 mph for the record.

“I don’t know where to start,” Gordon said. “You can point at the repaving of the racetrack. This track is smooth — has a tremendous amount of surface area where the tire can get a lot of grip to it. The next thing is the cars.”

Joey Logano finished with the second fastest time and was followed by Carl Edwards.

“It has nothing to do with the racetrack picking up speed,” said Logano, who qualified second behind Gordon. “It has (to do with) what we’ve been doing to the race cars to go faster. … I believe it’s cooler out, too. So I think between those two things, that’s why we went faster again, but the racetrack itself isn’t picking up speed. The racetrack, if anything, is maintaining to getting slower. But it’s widening out, so it’s becoming a better race.”

Edwards, who has two wins this season, said that doesn’t mind the new paved track.

“It’s fast — that’s the simplest way to describe it,” Edwards said. “I wish you guys could ride in that car with me there. That is screaming.”

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Dodgers Ryu Heading to 15-Day DL

Matt King/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — On Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they have placed starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu on the 15-day disabled list with two strained muscles in his right buttock. An MRI revealed Grade 1-2 strains of the gluteus medius and piriformis muscles.

The injury occurs on Wednesday after Ryu delivered a 3-2 pitch to Atlanta’s B.J. Upton, walking the Braves outfielder. Almost immediately after delivering the pitch, the southpaw summoned Dodgers trainer Stan Conte. Los Angeles plans to replace Ryu in the rotation with Kevin Correia, whom they acquired last week from the Minnesota Twins.

Manager Don Mattingly is unsure as to when Ryu will return to the team, but is confident that he will pitch again this season.

“We feel good about this in the sense that it’s not an elbow or a knee. It’s a muscle strain, and it’s going to heal,” said Mattingly.

Ryu was 13-6 on the season with a 3.28 earned run average at the time of the injury. The Dodgers hold a 5 1/2 game lead over San Francisco for the top spot in the South.

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Johnny Cueto First to 15 Wins

Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(DENVER) — Kris Negron singled home Ramon Santiago in the top of the ninth inning to give Cincinnati a 3-2 lead over Colorado, and make Johnny Cueto the first 15-game winner in the Major Leagues. Cueto (15-6) pitched a full eighth innings and is now 7-0 since his last loss back on July 2.

It did not start off well for Cueto or the Reds (61-61) as Nolan Arenado hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first to give the Rockies (47-75) an early lead. Cincinnati countered with runs in the third and fourth, taking the lead on a Santiago RBI single in the top of the fourth. That would last until Corey Dickerson doubled in the sixth to plate Justin Morneau and tie the game at 2-2.

Cueto continued to keep his team in the ballgame using a devastating combination of his cutter and four-seam fastball. The righty allowed just six hits in the outing with six strikeouts, helping the Reds snap a three-game losing streak.

After Negron gave Cincinnati the lead in the top of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman picked up his 26th save in 28 tries.

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Graham Penalized, Scolded for Touchdown Dunks

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) — It didn’t take long for Jimmy Graham to violate the rule many feel was put in place because of him. Following both of his touchdown receptions in Friday’s 31-24 preseason win over Tennessee, Graham proceeded to dunk the football through the goalposts and was penalized 15 yards for it.

The second celebration drew the ire of head coach Sean Payton, who tracked his tight end down on the sideline to scold him. In total, the Saints committed 22 penalties throughout the game. Graham declined interviews as he left the locker room while Payton would not directly comment on the incidents.

The celebration of “dunking” a ball through the goalposts was lumped in with other taunting penalties where the ball is used as a “prop”. Many have referred to the rule chance as the “Jimmy Graham rule”.

“I understand Jimmy’s frustration with that rule change. I understand what he’s doing,” said offensive tackle and team captain Zach Strief. “And yet it’s something, look, if this is a regular-season game, Jimmy’s not dunking over the goalpost. Coach Payton was completely, I think, correct to jump on him. Any of us, I think would expect it.

New Orleans was once again without quarterback Drew Brees who sat with an oblique strain. He is expected to be 100% healthy come the regular season. Wide receiver Marques Colston was also not dressed for action, but for an undisclosed reason.

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Rays Reach .500 With Shutout Of Yankees

Tom Szczerbowkski/Getty Images(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — Just over two months ago, the Tampa Bay Rays sat 18 games under .500 at 24-42. Now, following a 5-0 win against the New York Yankees, the Rays are back even with a 61-61 record.

“Really proud of the boys,” manager Joe Maddon said. “It was not easy.”

Alex Cobb certainly made it look easy for the Rays who won their third straight. The righty pitched into the eighth inning, allowing just six hits in 7 1/3 innings of work with eight strikeouts. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay plated a pair of first inning runs in the first to give Cobb a lead to use.

The Rays become just the fourth team ever to get back to .500 after being 18 games under earlier. Back in 2004, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays also completed the feat, as did the 2006 Florida Marlins and 1899 Louisville Colonels.

“It started with Joe and not letting us believe that we were that team,” Cobb said. “It’s mind-boggling that we went through the stretch we did, but we’re back on track now.”

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ABC Scoreboard Roundup – 8/15/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) – MLB: Washington Nationals 5 (67-53) – Pittsburgh Pirates 4 (64-58)

New York Mets 3 (58-65) – Chicago Cubs 2 (52-69)

Seattle Mariners 7 (66-55) – Detroit Tigers 3 (65-55) 2

Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (53-69) – Miami Marlins 2 (60-62)

Tampa Bay Rays 5 (61-61) – New York Yankees 0 (61-59)

Atlanta Braves 7 (62-60) – Oakland Athletics 2 (73-49)

Cleveland Indians 2 (61-60) – Baltimore Orioles 1 (69-51) – 11 Innings

Houston Astros 5 (51-72) – Boston Red Sox 3 (55-66) – 10 Innings

St. Louis Cardinals 4 (65-56) – San Diego Padres 2 (57-64)

Chicago White Sox 11 (58-64) – Toronto Blue Jays 5 (63-60)

Kansas City Royals 6 (67-54) – Minnesota Twins 5 (54-66)

Los Angeles Angels 5 (71-49) – Texas Rangers 4 (47-45)

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