Veteran lefty Zito taking a break; he isn’t retiring

 

Zito had a down year in 2013 but was a key to the Giants' championship in 2012. (USATSI)
Zito had a down 12 months in 2013 however was a key to the Giants' championship in 2012. (USATSI)

 

Barry Zito plans to take some time off, however he is not retiring.

Curiously, almost nothing was written about Zito this winter, and the reason for that's there isn't any proof he actively sought a job. Simply the same, Zito is not able to name it quits, both, according to individuals in the know.

There was an early suggestion in a story about Zito taking time without work to surf by Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Space. Baggarly hypothesized it was potential Zito could take 2014 to "reboot." And that appears to be the case.

There is no word of something physically mistaken with Zito, who had a rough yr in 2013 (5-11, 5.seventy four) after bouncing again to post a stellar 15-8 marketing campaign in 2012, when he helped the Giants win a second World Series title in three years, successful the key Recreation 5 of the NLCS at St. Louis that catapulted San Francisco again into the Series.

Zito is 165-143 with a 4.02 PERIOD for his career, all performed in the Bay Area with the Giants and A's. The Giants declined an $18-million possibility for him in 2014 but he still made $126 million on that seven-yr cope with San Francisco.

Zito is simply 36, so there could also be time for one more comeback if he decides to strive it.

 

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Kobe: Knee break, Achilles injury unrelated

LOS ANGELES – Lakers star Kobe Bryant says his knee harm was not attributable to him returning to the lineup too quickly from an Achilles damage in the identical leg.

"I do not think one had anything to do with the other," Bryant said Wednesday in his first media session since being diagnosed with the fracture last week. "We've evaluated it fairly extensively. The fact of the matter is any of us can get harm at any second and the important thing for us as an athlete is to block that worry out."

Bryant, talking earlier than the Lakers' a hundred and one-95 loss to the Miami Warmth, mentioned he has no plans to close it down for the season and is as decided as ever to play regardless of suffering a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee simply six video games into his return from the Achilles tear.

"I think I feel more locked in now than I have been my total profession due to this," Bryant mentioned. "The spirits are nice, the main target is great. Just going to see what happens when I come back."

BryantI feel I really feel extra locked in now than I have been my whole career, because of this. The spirits are tremendous, the main target is nice. Simply going to see what occurs when I come again.

- Kobe Bryant on current knee injury

Bryant, 35, is sort of one week into the six-week timetable that was set when he underwent an MRI on his left knee following the Lakers' ninety six-ninety two street win over the Memphis Grizzlies. He said he was "not aware" of any cause he would be sidelined any longer than that.

"My philosophy on that sort of stuff is: Do your job," Bryant said. "You owe it to the group and your teammates to get ready as fast and as rapidly as you possibly can and to come again as sturdy as you presumably can."

Being out of the lineup has allowed Bryant to dissect how he played within the six games he appeared in before the fracture.

"When you may have injuries that concern is enhanced and also you form of put yourself under the microscope a bit of bit and begin fascinated by it too much," he said. "The truth is it may well happen to anybody, so you could have to have the ability to tune that noise out and just go out there and carry out."

Bryant had averaged 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists on 42.5 percent shooting in his brief return and largely appreciated his outcomes.

"I learned that I can pretty much do all the things that I may before, significantly the last sport [against Memphis]," Bryant mentioned. "The biggest a part of my recreation, the last two to a few years, has been getting to a space on the ground and with the ability to elevate and shoot pull-up jump pictures and in the paint. It was a fantastic check going up in opposition to Tony Allen, who in my view has been the guy that's defended me the perfect since I've been in the league. So to go up towards him on the fourth recreation in 5 nights, and reply to that problem, felt pretty good."

What did not feel so good for Bryant was hearing critics, such as TNT's Charles Barkley, pipe up and say that the knee damage was the start of the tip for him.

"It is the same old tune," Bryant stated of the doubters. "It's simply being sung somewhat extra loudly now. Those sort of things simply actually help me lock in more than ever."

Bryant does have loads of supporters – together with LeBron James.

"It isn't as particular when Kobe's not on the market. Let's be sincere," James said after the Warmth's win. "I love coming out and going up against top-of-the-line. One of the greatest competitors we now have going in our recreation."

"I've been listening to studies about people giving their stupid opinion about what he should do," James added. "He's not going to sit. That's not him. That's not in his nature. He is an alpha male. He will get wholesome, and he's going to play the game that he loves and has been playing without end.

"When he gets back, he's going to play at a high degree. With him, I do not count on nothing less than greatness. Obviously, we all become old each and every year, however the caliber of player he is, he can exit and put up 20 every night time if he wanted to."

Before Bryant can show anybody flawed, he has to complete his rehab to get again on the court docket. To date that has consisted of "lots" of time on the exercise bicycle. He said he is additionally monitoring his eating regimen to try to preserve the burden off that he shed after coming back from the Achilles harm and making an attempt to strengthen different components of his body – particularly his left ankle and left foot – that had been bothering him.

"It provides me an excellent opportunity to take a look at a few of the points or challenges I might have been having bodily in other areas and then now I can readjust my program and are available back even higher," Bryant stated.

Bryant, who performed practically an entire half in Memphis after struggling the knee damage, mentioned it doesn't trigger him any ache.

"It is really not painful, which type of involved me after the sport," Bryant said. "Since I obtained within the locker room it simply felt like one thing was off. It just felt weird. Because it simply felt like it was lots of swelling that was inside the knee. It was a unique feeling. It wasn't a painful feeling. When it's something like that [it] always worries me somewhat bit."

Bryant and the Lakers scheduled an MRI two days after the Grizzlies recreation as a precaution.

"I used to be going in simply to be cautious," Bryant stated. "I used to be expecting actually a bone bruise more than the rest. I really thought [Dr. Stephen] Lombardo was joking. He said, 'This is not funny.' He really stated it was fairly serious."

But not too serious to check Bryant's belief in his means to return to the court.

"The knee's not likely a question for me," Bryant stated. "The fracture will heal. The most important question was how will my Achilles respond to my recreation, and I felt fairly good about that."

 

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MLS Schedule revealed

mls schedule

With the soccer world’s gaze undoubtedly centered on Brazil, MLS will go on a two-week hiatus throughout next summer’s World Cup.

MLS unveiled its full 2014 schedule Monday, with the common season kicking off March eight — one week later than this past season — and ending Oct. 26. It was the earliest schedule announcement in league history.

The World Cup break, which is able to begin following three video games June eleven and end with a single midweek match June 25, roughly coincides with the June 12-26 group stage. Though the season will begin after the March 5 FIFA date, the league will as soon as once more play through international fixtures in September and October.

The opening weekend is highlighted by matchups involving this 12 months’s MLS Cup individuals, as Japanese Conference champion Sporting Kansas City travels to face the excessive-spending Seattle Sounders and Western Convention champion Real Salt Lake visits the LA Galaxy in a playoff rematch.

With the season ending in late October and Nov. 10-18 set aside for FIFA fixtures, MLS will once once more should determine between scheduling postseason video games during the international dates or having a prolonged break in the course of its playoffs. For the 2013 season, the league scheduled two weeks off between the 2 legs of the conference finals.

 

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Google might be trying to break DirecTV’s stranglehold on NFL Sunday Ticket

(USA Right this moment Sports activities Images)

We all know a number of people who subscribe to DirecTV, a minimum of partly, because of NFL Sunday Ticket.

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The NFL’s unique contract with the satellite television supplier to indicate games that are not on the local broadcast has been a fantastic business deal for both sides. DirecTV has undoubtedly seen its subscriber base improve from it. The NFL likes cash, and DirecTV gave the league $4 billion price when it extended the contract in 2009.

But that contract runs out after the 2014 season, and Google seems fascinated by getting in on the action.

AllThingsD.com, a web site for technology, Web and media news, says Google CEO Larry Page and YouTube head of content material and business operations Robert Kyncl, met Tuesday with a bunch from the NFL that included commissioner Roger Goodell. AllThingsD reported that NFL Sunday Ticket was mentioned. It is fascinating to contemplate the possibilities.

While NFL Sunday Ticket has been including more choices similar to watching in your pc, pill or phone (“Football on Your Telephone,” y’all), however with Google and YouTube apparently able to make an enormous funding in the NFL package, you already know there could be some artistic concepts hatched to deliver NFL video to followers.

If nothing else, Google’s obvious interest provides the NFL some extra leverage when the Sunday Ticket package deal formally goes up for bid. The NFL will enjoy the additional money, and its followers should profit from the multimedia guarantees the following provider ought to should make to land the deal.

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Two teens break national marks set by Michael Phelps in same event; one is already a pro

Andrew Seliskar, 16, will swim for the U.S. Junior National Team later this month -- YouTubeAndrew Seliskar, 16, will swim for the U.S. Junior Nationwide Team later this month — YouTube In swimming circles, there will never be one other Michael Phelps. Or so we had been advised.

Two separate swimmers broke Phelps’ national records in their respective age groups final week at Speedo Junior Nationals in Irvine, Calif. (h/t Swim Swam by way of MaxPreps).

Andrew Seliskar, sixteen, received the 200-meter particular person medley in 2:00.21, besting Phelps’ 2001 nationwide document time of two:00.86 for the 15-16 age group by more than half a second. Seliskar’s time would have certified him for semifinals at the 2012 Summer season Olympics.

A rising junior at Alexandria (Va.) Jefferson High, Seliskar is the nation’s high-ranked recruit in the Class of 2015 as rated by CollegeSwimming.com. He also received the 200-meter butterfly at Speedo Junior Nationals in a meet document time of 1:56.fifty four.

“I was really pleased with the swim,” Seliskar informed reachforthewall.com after the butterfly. “I used to be shocked at how good I felt in prelims. I used to be shooting for the file after that.”

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With extra data in his sights, Seliskar subsequent competes August 26-31 in the FINA World Junior Championships in Dubai as a member of the U.S. Junior Nationwide Workforce.

Meanwhile, 14-year-outdated Michael Andrew completed 12th in the 200 IM at Speedo Junior Nationals in 2:05.thirteen, shattering Phelps’ previous 13-14 age group file of two:06.50.

In June, the Kansas native set his age group’s 50-meter freestyle record in 23.forty seven seconds — a time he beat by 0.09 seconds at Speedo Junior Nationals with an eighth-place finish.

Michael Andrew, 14, is the youngest professional swimmer in U.S. historical past — YouTube

Andrew grew to become the youngest skilled swimmer in U.S. history when he signed an endorsement cope with P2Life dietary dietary supplements and relinquished his right to compete at the highschool stage or collegiately, in accordance with Swim Swam. Whereas Phelps signed with Speedo as a sixteen-12 months-old, he had already certified for his first Olympics.

“If there was a school coach that I consider was doing exactly what I’m doing, I think we’d have considered it much more,” Andrew’s father Peter told Sports activities Illustrated of his 6-foot-four son. “I actually researched the coaches. There’s one which’s a bit of similar however probably not the same.

“I do not suppose Michael would transition nicely from our coaching style to an NCAA system. A massive mileage program would just kill him. So we could not have performed the college route anyway, except I grew to become a coach, and nobody is going to take me on.”

Andrew’s 200 IM time marked his thirty third age-group record. Whether he or Seliskar ever reach the Olympic heights of Phelps — the most adorned swimmer in the sport’s historical past — stays to be seen, but last week was certainly a pleasant soar off the beginning block.

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Derek Jeter shut down until after All-Star break with quad strain, Yankees announce

The Yankees will shut down Derek Jeter through the All-Star break after he suffered a Grade 1 quad strain on Thursday, his first game of the season after coming back from a broken ankle.

“We’re going to play it safe for the weekend and see what happens,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said at a Friday news conference. “We’re going to evaluate sometime after that.”

Holding Jeter out for the weekend, the Yankees hope, combined with the All-Star break will give their captain enough time to avoid another disabled-list stint. The Yankees return to game action after the break on July 19 at Boston.

(Getty Images) Jeter’s return to the Yankees started out triumphant. He legged out an infield single in the first inning and eventually scored a run. His left ankle — broken in the 2012 postseason and saddled with setbacks since the spring — looked fine. Later in the game, however, Jeter hurt his right quad running to first base. An MRI revealed the Grade 1 strain.

Cashman said at the Friday news conference that maybe the Yankees bringing Jeter back sooner than expected contributed to the injury, but it was hard to say for sure. Jeter was supposed to return to the lineup Friday, per the Yankees rehab plans. He was scheduled to DH in Triple-A on Thursday, but Cashman decided it wouldn’t be much different if Jeter DH’d for the Yankees. In his own defense, Cashman noted that Jeter could have strained his quad in Triple-A too.

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan says Jeter missing a week would be the best case scenario. Such a quad injury, Passan says, usually takes two or three weeks to heal, and could sideline Jeter until August.

Losing Jeter, 39, to the disabled list again would be a big blow for the Yankees — not only because they need bodies, but also mentally. They’ve already had Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis return from injury this season, only to go back on the disabled list shortly after. Adding Jeter to the body count would be crushing.

“We just have to give it some time and see how he responds,” Cashman said.

Judging from the Yankees’ luck this year, Cashman better be crossing every finger and toe he has.

“It’s frustrating. I don’t know what else you want me to say. I worked hard to get to the point of rejoining the team yesterday. It’s not how you draw it up, but hopefully I’ll be back out there soon and help this team win some games.”

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Miguel Cabrera: First player ever with 30 homers and 90 RBIs before All-Star break

You don’t need me to tell you that Miguel Cabrera is extraordinarily good at hitting baseballs. He won a Triple Crown last season, duh. But with a solo home run in Thursday’s game, Cabrera hit another offensive landmark, one that’s cool because it’s something nobody had ever done before. Not Ted Williams. Not Barry Bonds. Not even Yasiel Puig.

The homer was Cabrera’s 30th of the season, and it earned his 94th RBI. No player, according to STATS, has ever hit 30 home runs before the All-Star break with 90 RBIs. The closest to the mark: Tony Perez in 1970 and George Foster in 1977, both with 29 and 90.

Thirty homers and 100 RBIs — that’s a great season for many other players. For Miguel Cabrera, the amazing 2013 version, it’s a good start. Worth a mention: Chris Davis, who hit his 34th homer and 86th RBI on Thursday, has a chance to reach 30/90 too.

With Cabrera, it’s entirely possible that he’ll reach 30 homers and 100 RBIs before baseball’s breather, which is insane. Only two players — Juan Gonzalez in 1998 and Hank Greenberg in 1935 — have hit the 100-RBI threshold before the All-Star break.

It should be noted that the date of the All-Star break changes every year. Sometimes, it’s July 6, sometimes it’s July 16 — not to mention that we didn’t have an All-Star Game before 1933. So take it all with a grain of salt when we talk about records. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t acknowledge that Cabrera is beastly at the plate.

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Couples looks to break through in US Senior Open

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Fred Couples feels like he’s overdue for a win.

He’s played seven events on the Champions Tour this year, has been in the top five in six of them and comes into the U.S. Senior Open on Thursday off three straight runner-up finishes.

”I would like to win something,” he said Wednesday, adding that he even came in second in a member-guest tournament in California last month.

Couples’ most recent victory was just under a year ago at the 2012 Senior British Open. He looked ready to win two weeks ago in the Senior Players Championship, but a back-nine collapse left him tied for second behind Kenny Perry.

Couples said his bothersome back is feeling fine, so if the man nicknamed ”Boom Boom” for his prodigious drives can find the fairway at Omaha Country Club, no one would be surprised if this is the week he breaks through.

”Fred still hits the ball a tremendous distance,” Bernhard Langer said. ”He hasn’t lost any distance, maybe gained some with the equipment and all that. He’s capable of producing very low scores. Wherever he tees up, he’s one of the main favorites, no doubt about it.”

Couples, Perry, Langer, Tom Watson and David Frost are among the top contenders at the 6,700-yard, par-70 Omaha Country Club.

The fourth of the five senior majors will be a test of stamina for the 50-and-over golfers, especially with weekend highs forecast in the low 90s with high humidity. The course is hilly, featuring elevation and topographical changes that belie the popular image of the central plains.

”Nebraska, you’d think flat and hot,” Perry said. ”I got the hot part right, but it’s the hilliest golf course I’ve ever been on.”

Drives in the fairway will be at a premium with the rough cut high and the greens small and sloped. The 312-yard 13th hole is drivable, but the course features the second-longest par-3 in U.S. Senior Open history in the 230-yard third hole and the third-longest par-4 in the 494-yard 10th.

The 53-year-old Couples’ scaled-back schedule begins to ramp up now. After the U.S. Senior Open, he plays the British Open at Muirfield and Senior British Open at Royal Birkdale in consecutive weeks – ”which might be a little much,” he said.

For a man with a notoriously bad back, the schedule is taxing, in no small part because of the challenge the Omaha Country Club presents. Even in the best of circumstances, golfers will find themselves with a good number of side-hill and downhill lies. And then there’s that gnarly, 4-inch rough.

”If I drive it in the rough and don’t have a great lie, I’m not going to do too much out of it,” Couples said. ”I’ll probably play it safe.”

Roger Chapman will try to become the first defending champion to repeat since Allen Doyle in 2006. Chapman, who also won the Senior PGA Championship last year, has not been able to recapture his 2012 magic. He has one top-10 finish in 13 events.

Notable first-time entrants are Colin Montgomerie, who turned 50 last month and tied for ninth in the Senior Players Championship; Rocco Mediate, who lost a playoff to Tiger Woods in the classic 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines; and Duffy Waldorf, who has six top-10s in 11 Champions Tour events this year.

Perry, the Charles Schwab Cup points leader, is looking for his second win of the year in a senior major. He shot three straight rounds in the 60s to win the Senior Players Championship by 2 shots over Couples and Waldorf in Pittsburgh.

”Anything that has ‘major’ attached to it was always my one goal,” Perry said. ”Obviously, our majors out here probably are not looked upon like they are on the PGA Tour, but yet they’re still a major. It still will be attached to your name.”

Playing on the regular tour last week in West Virginia, Perry was 3 shots off the lead after two rounds of the Greenbrier Classic before ballooning to 73 on Saturday and finishing tied for 41st.

Watson shot in the 60s in three of his four rounds at the Greenbrier but tied for 38th after a 72 on Saturday. The 2014 Ryder Cup captain has two top-10 finishes in six Champions Tour events.

”Hot and cold,” Watson said, describing his game this year. ”I struggled yesterday and today in practice rounds here. Then I got on the practice tee, and at the end of the session I started hitting the ball well again. Whether it’s going to work on the golf course tomorrow is anybody’s guess, but at least it’s on the upswing. If I can keep the ball on the fairway and get there on Sunday, that’s all I’m trying to get to.”

Langer, the Champions Tour money leader, is trying to regain the form that helped him win twice in the spring. Langer, who won the U.S. Senior Open in 2010 and tied for second last year, limited his practice to two nine-hole rounds because of the heat and humidity. He said the rough is as thick as ”anywhere in the world,” and even if there’s no wind a golfer could be in contention shooting par.

”I can’t see too many 64s, 65s out here,” he said. ”Even par is never a bad score in a U.S. Senior Open. If someone gets really hot, because the greens might not get to the speed where they want them because of the heat, there might be a chance a couple guys finish under par.”