March Media Madness 2014: The Sports Talk Bracket


March Insanity is nearly upon us. The unwritten guidelines of Web mandate we must do some type of zany bracket competitors. Since we aren’t ones to get jazzed up over rock albums or condiments, we determined to focus our sixty four-group bracket on internecine media squabbles with “March Media Insanity.” We start with the “Sports activities Speak” bracket, which accommodates radio hosts, television individuals who do a variety of speaking and multimedia of us who merge the two disciplines. 

1. Mike Francesa vs. 16. Chris Russo

Lennon and McCartney. Cohle and Hart. Mike and the Mad Canine. We paired these two former companions together to provide this bracket some juice! The Pope has been notable of late: providing an “goal” forum for A-Rod, embroiling himself in New York media catfights, declaring the apparent and napping. A quick google search confirmed that Chris Russo is still working in sports radio.

2. Keith Olbermann vs. 15. “Bonecrusher” Dan Sileo


Keith Olbermann returned to ESPN. It didn’t take him lengthy to begin firing pictures at sports activities media members. We thought it fitting to pair him with a relentless candidate for “worst particular person within the sports world.” Sileo started 2013 with a charming Erin Andrews peephole joke, was fired in March for an anti-semitic comment and was fired from his subsequent job in November for putting a bounty on Florida State players. Referring to black football gamers as monkeys the 12 months before was additionally pretty.

3. Mike and Mike vs. 14. Jim Rome


America’s favourite bookish metrosexual cum man-jock duo receives our No. three seed. Greeny taped a podcast with Jason McIntyre. Golic once recycled party-shirts on Letterman. None of us are on the left coast. Jim Rome has not provoked anybody notable of late. Although we’re nonetheless reasonably confident “the Jungle” stays intact.

4. Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon vs. thirteen. Tony Reali


They share a city, a studio, executive producer Erik Rydholm and the 5:00 weekday hour on ESPN. It might probably’t be all good vibes and fresh salads. Tony Kornheiser has towed the road for the reason that Hannah Storm incident. Wilbon left NBA Countdown, dedicated an egregious jersey faux pas and worked on his golf sport. Renaissance Man Tony Reali filled in on drums at an Umphrey’s McGee concert.

5. Paul Finebaum vs. 12. Clay Travis


The crown princes of SEC media sq. off. “Pawwwl” joined College GameDay, ate some attention-grabbing cereal and will headline the upcoming SEC Community. Clay joined Fox Sports activities’ GameDay competitor and matched wits with Richard Deitsch on Twitter.

6. Scott Van Pelt vs. 11. Doug Gottlieb


Van Pelt eschewed interest elsewhere to stay at ESPN. Gottlieb took his “white man’s perspective” to CBS Sports activities, where he has a late evening show with Allie LaForce. Hirsute Notre Dame center Garrick Sherman is just not a fan.

7. Skip Bayless/Stephen A. Smith vs. 10. Jemele Hill/Michael Smith


Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith present a forum for colorful language and groundbreaking discussions of race on First Take. Jemele Hill and Michael Smith have a tv present Numbers Never Lie, a podcast, and are former colleagues of Hugh Douglas. Both reveals are battling for producer Jamie Horowitz’ affection.

eight. Colin Cowherd vs. 9. Dan Patrick


These two go face to face over the national airwaves. The past animosity has been palpable. Colin Cowherd was profiled and joined our podcast. There was additionally that time seven (yes, seven) years in the past he shut our website down. Noted interview master Dan Patrick brought out the foul mouth in Peter King and Rick Neuheisel’s inner troubadour.

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Fox Sports Warren Barton Talks Champions League, Vince McMahon and Why He Thinks Gus Johnson Will Be One of the Best Soccer Announcers in the World

warrenbartonWarren Barton, an Englishman, has been part of the American soccer panorama the previous couple of years working as an analyst for Fox Soccer Channel and now Fox Sports 1. If you happen to’re a fan of the game within the States, you’ll little doubt acknowledge the previous England international and are nicely aware of his tendency to mix it up with former U.S. Nationwide Workforce striker Eric Wynalda on air.

Though FOX misplaced the rights to the Premier League, it nonetheless airs the Champions League and FA Cup. Right now we’re smack dab in the middle of peak soccer with European competitions, the start of MLS this weekend and the World Cup looming less than one hundred days away. Over the weekend FOX aired the quarterfinals of the FA Cup, together with Wigan Athletic shock 2-1 win over Manchester City. The second leg of the Round of sixteen Champions League video games resume on Tuesday with Bayern Munich/Arsenal and Atletico Madrid/AC Milan.

The Large Lead spoke with Barton by cellphone final week on a lot of soccer matters including what makes the FA Cup particular as an Englishman, why English fans are not often real looking about their nationwide group and what it’s like working with Gus Johnson.

TBL: Clearly Americans are wrapped up in English soccer, with the Premier League primarily. The FA Cup … typically it feels like the appeal is misplaced in translation. As an Englishman, describe what makes the FA Cup so particular?

WB: As a British one who thinks of the FA Cup, it’s the romance. We love the opportunity an amateur athlete pitting his wits against the Premier All-Stars. It’s like a high school group taking part in against the Steelers or the Cowboys in the Tremendous Bowl. It begins with a policeman, a builder, they could possibly be doing effectively and playing against mighty Manchester City or Arsenal. There’s the history. It’s the oldest home membership competitors in the world. That’s how I generalize it. The romance, the historical past. The beauty, as I mentioned, an newbie athlete playing towards one of many heroes of the Premier League.

TBL: What matchup would make for the most effective closing for the Champions League this season?

WB: Bayern Munich, they're the benchmark. Actual Madrid, at the moment, with the best participant on this planet (Cristiano Ronaldo), the most costly player on this planet (Gareth Bale) and possibly essentially the most underrated coach in the world, as properly with (Carlo) Ancelotti. Clearly ex-pats wish to see Chelsea or Manchester City. In case you’re a purist, trying on the game, taking a look at (Bayern and Actual) they’re thrilling, they rating objectives and so they play to win. They've the opposite group apprehensive about them, somewhat than being cautious. Take Manchester City, they have been very respectful of Barcelona and when you speak about Bayern or Real Madrid they exit to win regardless of who they’re enjoying against.

TBL: You’ve been in America for some time, what do you make of the viewers who watches English video games or soccer on the whole, who do you think that audience is?

WB: I can go simply by Twitter. They’re very educated. They’re very passionate. They are often very essential as well. Now with the sport being proven on so many channels, the Internet, folks’s knowledge is getting higher and other people’s opinions are getting stronger.

The expansion I’ve seen in six years, you may simply go by our viewing figures. Every year it gets larger. The data is spreading. … What’s thrilling is the game within the U.S. hasn’t even reached it’s potential but and it’s already breaking data week-in, week-out. That’s exciting as an analyst, as an ex-player, as a coach going ahead. I do know that’s how Eric (Wynalda) and Brian (McBride) really feel. We love it.

TBL: What’s probably the most noticeable change in soccer because you’ve been over here in America?

WB: Have a look at the shirts. You’re speaking about each now and again you might see a West Ham shirt or an Everton shirt. Earlier than it was once simply Barcelona or Actual Madrid, Manchester United. Clearly there’s ardour.

It’s also individuals recognizing you. You go to Phoenix, you go to Miami, Los Angeles, folks at all times ask me, ‘What’s Eric like, what’s Brian like?’ That shows you that the audience is getting bigger. Sure people are carrying not solely prime Premiership shirts, but perhaps a Stoke shirt will likely be worn. You’ll obviously see numerous MLS shirts. The game is growing. It’s the identical because the NFL in the UK. I communicate to my mates there. Earlier than you would possibly see a Cowboys and a 49ers shirt. Now you get a Chargers, Tennessee. It’s crossing over.

TBL: I’m positive you saw the rumors final month about Vince McMahon’s interest in shopping for Newcastle United, one among your former clubs. What did you make of that? Would he be a great addition to English soccer?

WB: You can’t assist however have a smile on your face, because of the ties to the WWE and what he’s completed. Something is feasible. That’s the fantastic thing about what’s happening.

Am I towards it? No. Wouldn't it surprise me? Sure.

You have a look at Roman Abramovich, a Russian billionaire coming to Chelsea. You have a look at what the Qataris have done at PSG and obviously these type of golf equipment. They’ve taken these mediocre teams from a decade in the past and turned them into global giants. It’s intriguing. As I said to Rob Stone, it could intrigue me. It will bring humor back into the sport and that’s what it’s about. (McMahon) positively knows business, look what he’s accomplished to that enterprise. He’s additionally obtained a strong opinion which is sweet.

Newcastle Fan

TBL: Newcastle has an enormous, passionate fanbase, an enormous stadium … why has it been so exhausting for them to get over that hump and compete for trophies constantly? What is it about that membership that all the time holds them back?

WB: It’s the turnover of coaches. You take a look at Chelsea and the turnover. To bridge that hole, you must sign high-quality gamers. We completed second twice (Barton played for Newcastle United from 1995-2002), played in Cup finals, played within the Champions League. You have to discover the suitable coach. There are only so many Sir Bobby Robsons which are round. It is advisable to have an owner that understands the chance you’ve given a certain coach. It’s an amalgamation of turnover of coaches, turnover of players and it’s like everybody – there’s solely so many winners. Sadly Newcastle are one of the teams like an Everton, like a Liverpool in the meanwhile who are trying to interrupt into the Prime 4. You possibly can throw Tottenham into that equation as well and so they’ve spent over $100 million. Cash doesn’t all the time purchase success, nevertheless it actually helps.

TBL: What’s it been like working with Gus Johnson, such as you did last spring with the Champions League?

WB: There’s little question. I’ve worked with Martin Tyler, with Rob Hawthorne on Sky and Gus is simply as passionate as them.

We’re in America and I think we should have an American voice. It sounds strange coming from a Brit, however that’s me personally. We've an American audience and to bridge that hole to get the American individuals to understand you want an American voice. Which will get myself out of a job however that’s how I feel. I’ve lived right here and respect the country and respect what the game is. I think Gus Johnson is pretty much as good as anybody on this planet. Yes Martin Tyler is the benchmark however you’ve received Gus Johnson 15-20 years in the sport and he’s right behind him. I’m an enormous fan, not just because he’s with us, however for what he does with the game, how strong he is to place his status on the line, to try this. That takes not solely guts, but it takes confidence to do this and he’s received all our confidence and the network behind him.

TBL: Will you be working more Champions League video games this spring with Gus?

WB: Our boss, obviously, has already spoken to myself and Eric about that on the timescale. It obviously needs to be a recreation that appeals to folks. From that standpoint I feel it will be accomplished. Will probably be a sport that’s worthy like Manchester United/Real Madrid. We don’t need to shortchange the viewers. Gus is very dedicated in addition to everybody on the soccer aspect. [Ed. word: Johnson will possible be again calling Champions League games this spring, but FOX hasn't confirmed recreation or date yet.]

TBL: Getting again to the Champions League, a number of years ago we had three of the 4 semifinalists coming from England. We’re at all times told the EPL is one of the best league on the planet, but now the continental European teams are faring much better against them in the Champions League. Is it cyclical or is there a cause why?

WB: The Premier League is the most exciting league. I feel Tim Howard mentioned that. Brian McBride stated that. You possibly can take a team like Fulham and may go and beat a Manchester United, a Chelsea. If you’re speaking other leagues, Real Madrid normally win their games, it’s impossible they’ll lose. The Premier League is aggressive and thrilling due to the fashion of football. It’s very much a mixture of continental and the British physicality. Now it’s a shift. Whether it’s La Liga, the Bundesliga or Ligue 1, you’re seeing that due to the money. PSG have performed effectively with the players they have. I still just like the EPL is essentially the most thrilling or aggressive.

The Champions League is the most exciting when it comes to the technical high quality of the coaches. If you talk about the information of the sport, there’s where the Champions League for me is so intriguing. The standard of gamers, the quality of coaches. The Premier League nonetheless has to bridge that gap. If you’re talking about data and techniques, it’s the Champions League. For those who’re talking pleasure it’s the Premier League, no doubt because of the bodily side of what you've got. If it’s the throughout bundle it’s Champions League for me.

TBL: As an Englishman what’s a sensible expectation for England on the World Cup this 12 months?

WB: To win it! (laughes) No, if we can get to the quarterfinals that may be an awesome achievement. As you realize in England we all get so excited that we’re going to win it, that that is the year. Once you discuss South America you talk about Brazil, Argentina and in Europe you look at the Germans and the Spanish.

All your wives and girlfriends are getting buggered right now.

TBL: English fans are bizarre with the World Cup. Half of them think it’s their birthright to win it, the opposite half think they have no likelihood. What’s it actually like?

WB: Two weeks earlier than everyone says we’re going to win it. The Queen will likely be on TELEVISION. We’ll have Prince Charles, Prince William, it’ll be our time. As soon as we kickoff, it’ll be, no we’re going to lose and go out of it. There are so many combined emotions. You have all the flags out, we’ll be able to go. Possibly this yr we’re being pessimistic, however real looking. That is the first time I’ve spoken to individuals and they’re like “we ain’t going to win it.” We’ve all the time stated before “we’ve obtained Rooney, we’ve got Peter Crouch, we’ve bought Steven Gerrard.” This time it’s extra like, if we get out of our group we’ve completed effectively. A bit of reality has kicked in.

TBL: I’m not sure how intently you monitor the U.S. crew, but we’re three months away from the World Cup. What do you think the U.S. expectation needs to be?

WB: Final week, when I watched them practice – Jurgen invited us down with Rob Stone – it was a privilege to speak to Landon (Donovan). The European gamers weren’t there. I just thought it’s very unfortunate with the group. Jurgen can flip it around and say to do effectively we’ve received to play in opposition to the best, however I think there’s such robust momentum from what he’s achieved within the last 18 months. The Donovan state of affairs has modified, the place you must earn the suitable to play for the U.S. which is implausible. There’s competition for places. The perfect players have stepped up. (Chris) Wondolowski, Eddie (Johnson) guys like that have stepped up. If they get out of that group I feel they’ve done very effectively. Anybody, even when it was England, even when it was France in that group. Looking at that group is very troublesome.

TBL: You’ve worked with Eric Wynalda for a pair years now. What’s the most heated argument you’ve had collectively?

WB: Obvious: The Premier League and the Bundesliga. He is in awe of the Bundesliga. He loves it. It’s his largest ardour and rightly so.

We argue about three issues: Premier League vs. Bundesliga, the U.S. vs. England … and who’s going to buy lunch. Each time I’ve gained and I’ve bought lunch each single time for the last three and half years with him. He’s a fantastic guy. We have now a lot of enjoyable on TELEVISION. People ask if we get on. I feel yeah we do, but now we have opinions and that’s what it’s all about.

He’s not bought me one beer or one sandwich in 4 years, and you may quote me on that.

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NJ Takes Sports Betting Case To Supreme Court

Last week, New Jersey’s sports betting case finally made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Garden State wants to allow its casinos to offer sports wagering, but the major sports leagues and the U.S. Department of Justice have opposed the plan. A high-stakes court battle has been playing out, and now it has reached the highest court in the land.

Christie signed a bill in 2012 to authorize, a move which prompted a lawsuit from the leagues. People with the leagues say that legalization of such gambling could hurt the integrity of the games, while Christie has argued that legalization would help control and thwart the sports betting black market. In other words, that prohibition doesn’t work.

The case also involves a debate over state’s rights.

New Jersey is trying to overturn the the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA ), which limited sports betting to four states — Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware. Delaware has extremely limited sports betting, while both Montana and Oregon don’t actually have any commercial casinos offering the activity. Full-fledged sports betting is only happening in the Silver State, home to the slowly recovering Las Vegas.

Nevada casinos saw around $200 million in revenue from its sportsbooks in 2013.

The states where it is legal were grandfathered in.

New Jersey previously lost three times in federal court to the leagues. It’s hoping the Supreme Court will not only hear the case, but feels differently than the lower courts.

Revenues in Atlantic City have been slumping since 2006.


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UK Law Could Raise fines for Gambling cheats

A new proposal in the United Kingdom calls for a rise within the penalty for being caught and convicted of cheating at gambling. The complete textual content may be found here.

Underneath the proposed change, the maximum doable jail sentence would go up from two years to 10.

Sporting events (explicitly) and on-line poker (implicitly) would fall under the scope of the amendment to the regulation. The bill in query is the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill.

The sponsor is former sports activities minister Lord Moynihan.

The transfer comes not lengthy after the state of Nevada, the top gaming authority within the United States, not too long ago announced that it was partnering up with the Olympics to help combat cheating within the upcoming games in Sochi, Russia.

Different locations, like Australia, have potential decade-long jail sentences for match-fixing.

Some jurisdictions assume sports betting can be better managed when legal, quite than letting it exist as a black market. That’s the argument New Jersey has taken in its quest to have the ability to enable its casinos the opportunity to take motion on NCAA video games, for example.


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Association of Ringside Physicians Supports Elimination of TRT in Combat Sports


The Affiliation of Ringside Physicians on Monday released a consensusstatement advocating the “normal elimination” of therapeuticuse exemptions for testosterone substitute remedy in combatsports.

The ARP is an “worldwide, non-revenue group dedicated tothe health and safety of the boxer and blended martial arts athlete.”The full assertion is as follows:

The incidence of hypogonadism requiring the use of testosteronereplacement remedy (TRT) in professional athletes isextraordinarily rare. Accordingly, the usage of an anabolic steroidsuch as testosterone in knowledgeable boxer or combined martialartist is rarely justified. Steroid use of any kind, includingunmerited testosterone, considerably increases the security andhealth danger to combat sports activities athletes and their opponents. TRT in acombat sports athlete may create an unfair advantagecontradictory to the integrity of sport. Consequently, theAssociation of Ringside Physicians helps the overall eliminationof therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacementtherapy.

TRT permits professional fighters to obtain artificial testosteroneif they've a testosterone deficiency. To obtain a TUE before afight they must present medical proof to the suitable athleticcommission that the treatment is critical.

TRT in combined martial arts has been a controversial difficulty for anumber of years, but in 2013 debate over its use reached a fervor.On the forefront of the dialog has been middleweight No. 1contender VitorBelfort, who acquired TUEs for his three fights last yr andscored devastating knockouts over MichaelBisping, LukeRockhold and DanHenderson. All three of these fights came about in Brazil.Belfort acquired the exemptions despite testing positive for theanabolic steroid four-hydroxytestosterone in 2006.

Belfort is expected to challenge ChrisWeidman for the 185-pound belt someday in the late spring orearly summer, though no date for the bout has been officiallyannounced. This time, nonetheless, the struggle will happen in LasVegas as an alternative of Brazil. “The Phenom” not too long ago instructed UFC Tonightthat he planned to apply for an exemption previous to facingWeidman.

Of course, Belfort is far from the only distinguished fighter to hunt aTUE, as Henderson, ChaelSonnen, Frank Mir,BenRothwell, AntonioSilva and LavarJohnson all fought on the therapy in 2013. ForrestGriffin and QuintonJackson have also acquired TUEs previously. Nonetheless, Silva andRothwell were flagged for elevated levels of testosterone aftertheir bouts, as was Johnson, who truly didn't obtain anexemption from the California State Athletic Fee prior tocompeting at UFC 157.

A consultant from the UFC declined to touch upon the ARPstatement when reached by on Monday afternoon. Nonetheless,UFC President Dana White spoke to the Related Press relating to the matter.

“The medical doctors got here out and stated they want to ban it? Nicely, that’sthe reply,” White mentioned. “It’s legal in the sport. The commissionslet you do it. You get an exemption, and it's a must to be monitoredand all of the stuff that’s going on, but when they’re going to do awaywith it? There you go. It’s an issue solved.”


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Michelle Beadle in the Process of Leaving NBC Sports, Return to ESPN is Likely [UPDATE]

The 17th Annual Webby Awards - Show

[This put up initially ran on September 27, 2013.]

Eight days ago, Michelle Beadle blasted NBC’s lack of promotion for her show, The Crossover. Two days in the past, the show was cancelled. And now, sources say, Beadle is in the means of leaving the network altogether – and presumably returning to ESPN.

Sources say Sam Flood, the chief producer of NBC Sports activities and the NBC Sports Network, was irate when he realized of Beadle’s comments on the Sports Media Watch Podcast earlier this week [quick-ahead to the 23-minute mark]. On Sept. 19th, right here’s what Beadle informed Keith Thibault and Ken Fang:

“I like what we’re doing now, however then again I’m not an idiot. I notice we’re on a network that is new and struggling and we don’t get plenty of promotion. So I type of battle with that every day. Do I fight the great struggle and promote the show by myself? Do I just surrender and act like a whiny person? It’s attention-grabbing, however we've got such a good crew and they work hard.”

“I take a look at Twitter now and I think, ‘You already know what, I’ve received more followers on Twitter than the network gets viewers. There’s bought to be a solution to turn that into eyes on the present.’ So that’s kind of where I'm now. I hate it as a result of it’s going to be so self-promoting, however I’m beginning to understand should you don’t do this then it’s arduous to complain after the actual fact.”

“I didn’t actually get into having my very own show to at all times be put on the backburner. It’s frustrating. It’s onerous to get to some kind of regularity, the occasions change and we’re everywhere … [the show airs] every single day besides days when sailing, soccer and/or bike racing [are on].”

The comments have been brutally trustworthy, and what any pissed off TV persona may point out … behind-the-scenes or to buddies or colleagues. But on a podcast? She was talking the reality, however should you’ve spent any time in corporate America, you recognize that rarely sits effectively with people who sit in nook offices.

Flood, a former school hockey player, has a rough, abrasive managerial model in response to those that have labored with him, and sources say he felt blindsided by one of the high on-air abilities at the network and he wasn’t going to face for it.

[ASSOCIATED: NBC Sports is Already Blowing Up The Crossover, and Michelle Beadle is Going to Host the Present Alone]

Michelle-Beadle-Sexy-Legs-in-a-Red-DressFlood and Beadle had butted heads earlier than in her 16-months at NBC – some producers at NBCSN sided with Beadle’s thoughts that the community’s vibe should feel younger, but Flood is an previous-school type – but, sources say, this one despatched him over the edge. Sources say Flood decided he’d had sufficient, and Beadle’s present was getting scrapped. However as an alternative of telling her first, he got word to Richard Sandomir of the New York Times that NBC was pulling the plug. Then, Flood referred to as Beadle into a gathering, telling her the information.

Moments after strolling out of the assembly, associates of Beadle say, she noticed the information on twitter.

Beadle did not return multiple requests for comment on this story. Flood, when reached on his cellular phone at the moment, referred me to a community publicist and hung up, not eager to reply questions. The NBC Sports activities Community PR department declined remark.

Sources say the scenario between the two is now untenable, and rumors are swirling that as quickly as her agent and NBC can come to an agreement, her days at NBC will probably be over and there’s a very good probability she’ll return to ESPN.

[UPDATE, January twenty first: Sports Illustrated says that Beadle is leaving NBC and returning to ESPN. There's no affirmation from Beadle or ESPN and no date for her return is listed.]

For now, Beadle may be seen on Entry Hollywood. There’s no timetable for when she would return to ESPN, however the buzz is that it’s a query of when, not if, she’ll return to the community she left in May 2012.

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First Fantasy Sports TV Network Set To Launch

A 24/7 tv community just for fantasy sports activities is close to coming to fruition.

On Mar. four, the community, created by Anthem Media Group, Inc., will develop into accessible in North America. The group stated that fantasy sports has turn out to be a $5 billion-a-12 months industry. For comparison, the NFL brings in about $9 billion in income annually.

Anthem Media added that the network would be the first of its type, and it hopes to succeed in as many of the estimated forty million people in North America who play fantasy sports as it can.

“With the fantasy sports activities business rising extra rapidly and arguably bigger than the enterprise of underlying sports activities themselves, the time to create a multi-faceted media property for this business is now,” Louis Maione, Chief Technique Officer of the network, mentioned in an announcement.

The average player (75 % male, 25 percent feminine) spends near $500 per yr on fantasy-associated items and services, the group said.

Although it has key differences with gambling, fantasy sports activities does have some similarities with sports betting and should be considered among the many future developments for gaming — whether on-line or live — in the United States. Casinos in New Jersey, for instance, have been licensed by the state to supply a day by day fantasy sports activities product.

For more info on what the Fantasy Sports Community will supply, take a look at the press launch.


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Octagon Newcomers George Sullivan, Mike Rhodes Matched for UFC on Fox Sports 10

CFFCtitleholder George Sullivan is headed to the UFC. |


A brand new welterweight reserving has been added to

UFC on Fox 10

, as



Mike Rhodes

will make their promotional debuts on the Jan. 25 event.

UFC officers Tuesday introduced the reserving, which takes place atChicago’s United Middle. The night’s fundamental card airs reside on Fox’sflagship community, while Fox Sports activities 1 and UFC Battle Cross willbroadcast the preliminary card.

UFC on Fox 10 is headlined by a pivotal lightweight tilt pittingex-UFC champion BensonHenderson against former Strikeforce ruler Josh Thomsonand will moreover see StipeMiocic lock horns with GabrielGonzaga in a heavyweight co-important event.

Sullivan rides a six-combat profitable streak into his UFC debut, mostrecently stopping JesusMartinez this past August underneath the Cage Fury FightingChampionships banner. The New Jersey resident owns 10 of his 14 prowins via knockout and has not lost since dropping a unanimousdecision in the Ring of Fight cage practically three years in the past.

Rhodes suffered the lone defeat of his profession this past March, whenhe was quickly submitted by surging prospect BrandonThatch. The Roufusport product rebounded with a pair ofvictories, however, as “Biggie” stopped BenjaminSmith in June before profitable the Resurrection Preventing Alliancewelterweight title in a unanimous verdict this previous October at RFA10.

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Philly Cops Plan to Wear Saints Gear During Saturday’s Playoff Game in Attempt to Keep the Peace

Chicago Bears v Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia sports activities fans are hardcore and enthusiastic about their favorite teams. Generally they even prefer to take it to excessive ranges. In case you’ve paid even the slightest consideration to sports activities over the past century you would possibly have heard about this status. We shouldn’t be breaking new floor here.

Partly on account of this — and 15 arrests along with sixty eight ejections through the Eagles’ last residence game at Lincoln Financial Subject — Philadelphia police are taking measures to curb obnoxious fan conduct for Saturday’s night time’s NFC Playoff Recreation with the Saints. In response to a report by WPVI, cops will attend the game carrying New Orleans regalia. (Hopefully a throwback Pat Swilling jersey is within the mix.)

When consuming is concerned, crossing the line between “supporting the workforce” and becoming a belligerent jerk at a sporting occasion can happen fairly rapidly. It’s exactly not a terrible concept by the Philly police to be proactive especially with all the pregaming within the parking lot an eight p.m. kickoff affords. That mentioned, in case you spend over $one hundred twenty for a playoff ticket (and rising on Stub Hub) and resolve to act like a jackass and go after an undercover cop in a Bobby Hebert jersey, the joke is on you. 

Appears like a good time to recollect the piece Actual Sports activities did on drinking before NFL video games.

Associated: Lions Fan Claims He Was Overwhelmed Unconscious By Philadelphia Followers After Eagles Game
Related: New Orleans Saints Followers Wrote “Who Dat” in Snow Beneath Gateway Arch
Associated: Patriots Fans in Miami Don’t Perceive the Distinction Between Dolphins and Fish

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Denver Broncos Smash Raiders


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – With one sterling half, Peyton Manning completed all he needed to in the common-season finale by seizing another prestigious record and home-field advantage in the playoffs.

He knows his next day trip in all probability won't be really easy.

Manning set the NFL single-season file for yards passing and threw four first-half landing passes to clinch the highest seed in the AFC playoffs for the Broncos with a 34-14 victory over Oakland on Sunday.

''This was an excellent sport at this time,'' Manning mentioned. ''We would have liked this win. We needed to improve on some issues. The coaches challenged us in a few areas and I think we responded to those challenges.''

The Broncos (13-three) have been practically good in building a 31-0 halftime lead before coach John Fox gave Manning and some other regulars the second half off to relaxation for the first playoff game two weeks from now in Denver.

Manning threw touchdown passes to Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno within the first quarter and added two to Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter. He broke Drew Brees' report of 5,476 yards set in 2011 with a 5-yard move to Thomas with 13 seconds left within the half to make it 31-0.

That ended Manning's day having accomplished 25 of 28 passes for 266 yards. He completed the season with 5,477 yards and fifty five landing passes.

''The primary half was about nearly as good in all three phases as we've been all year,'' coach John Fox mentioned. ''It allowed us to get some guys out of the game and rest them and still deal with enterprise on the field.''

The Raiders (four-12) ended their eleventh straight non-profitable season with six consecutive losses and big questions on the way forward for second-yr coach Dennis Allen. Oakland has gained eight video games in Allen's two seasons however after displaying signs of progress early this season, regressed down the stretch to place his job in jeopardy.

Allen said he expects to fulfill within the next few days with common supervisor Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis to discuss the future of the organization.

''That's a decision that's remodeled my head,'' Allen mentioned. ''I absolutely anticipate to be back. I totally believe that I deserve the opportunity to return back right here and get a chance to undergo the reconstruction phase. I need to be part of the rebuilding section.''

The Raiders, who allowed the second most points in franchise historical past, were fully exposed by Manning. He often focused fill-in cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, who began for the injured Mike Jenkins.

The Broncos compelled a punt on the opening possession and then easily drove down the sphere. Manning completed eight of 9 passes for 70 yards on the 12-play drive, capping it with a 3-yard cross to Decker.

A foul snap by Stefen Wisniewski on the first play of the subsequent drive arrange a 7-yard TD go to Moreno and the rout was on.

Oakland held Manning to a discipline objective early in the second quarter earlier than he beat them deep with a sixty three-yard pass to Thomas to make it 24-0 and then methodically led a late drive down discipline that was capped with the brief throw to Thomas that broke Brees' file and earned Manning some rest in the second half.

''I really feel prefer it's a file every different week,'' Thomas said. ''It's nice to be a part of, to get it. We just have to take a seat again and discuss it however our foremost aim is to win the Super Bowl. It's a good accomplishment for our offense. The primary factor now's being able to win.''

Brock Osweiler played your entire second half in his most in depth action of his two-yr career. He completed 9 for 13 passes for eighty five yards however only led Denver to at least one area aim

The decision to return to Terrelle Pryor at starting quarterback after six video games with Matt McGloin failed to offer the spark Allen had been in search of. Pryor looked rusty in his return to the lineup, missing receivers and having little room to run on read-possibility performs and scrambles.

Pryor accomplished 21 of 38 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns after the game was out of reach. Pryor also ran for forty nine yards to present him 576 yards dashing for the season, breaking Wealthy Gannon's franchise mark of 529 for quarterbacks set in 2000.

''I might say I'm inconsistent,'' Pryor said. ''Interval. I acquired to get better.''

The Raiders could not even capitalize on their one good probability as Sebastian Janikowski missed his ninth discipline purpose of the season after blocked punt by Jamize Olawale gave Oakland the ball at the Denver 24.

NOTES: Broncos S Duke Ihenacho left the game with a concussion… The Raiders had about forty five members of the 1983 team that received the Super Bowl on hand for a halftime ceremony.



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Spurs’ Parker says sorry for ‘quenelle’ Salute


SAN ANTONIO (AP) – San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker apologized Monday for a newly surfaced photograph that exhibits him making the same gesture with anti-Semitic connotations that French soccer star Nicolas Anelka displayed whereas celebrating a objective this weekend, creating an uproar in their home nation.

The photograph reveals Parker and a French comedian making a gesture recognized in France as a ”quenelle,” which critics describe as inverted Nazi salute. Parker mentioned in a statement released by means of the Spurs that the photograph was taken three years in the past.

Parker, who was born in Belgium however raised in France, mentioned he did not know at the time that ”it could possibly be in any means offensive or dangerous.” He stated he thought it was part of a comedy act and mentioned he apologized for any misunderstanding or harm.

”While this gesture has been part of French culture for a few years, it was not till just lately that I realized of the very destructive issues related to it,” Parker stated.

The photo surfaced on social media after Anelka made the same gesture celebrating a goal in an English Premier League sport Saturday, causing an outcry in France.

Anelka’s membership, West Bromich Albion, issued a press release Monday saying that Anelka has agreed to not carry out the identical gesture once more. The English Football Affiliation has also begun an investigation and could punish Anelka with a five-match ban.

Anelka has defended his actions, saying he was merely expressing his support for French comic Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who performs the gesture on stage. Dieudonne claims the salute, which entails pointing one straightened arm downward whereas touching that arm’s shoulder with the alternative hand, is anti-establishment and not anti-Semitic.

The photograph of Parker additionally reveals him posing with Dieudonne.

Parker didn’t converse with reporters after apply Monday. He said in his assertion that he would by no means repeat the gesture once more.

”Hopefully this incident will serve to educate others that we should be more conscious that things that will appear innocuous can actually have a history of hate and hurt,” Parker stated.

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‘TUF Nations: Canada vs. Australia’ Set for Jan. 15 Debut on Fox Sports 1

Patrick Cote will lead Group Canada on “TUF Nations.” | MarceloAlonso/


The subsequent worldwide model of “The Final Fighter” will debutJan. 15 on Fox Sports activities 1, in keeping with a

report by Fox Sports


“TUF: Canada vs. Australia” might be coached by Patrick Coteand KyleNoke. The 2 welterweights will square off within the Octagonafter the present’s conclusion. The UFC is anticipated to disclose thecast, which can embrace middleweights and welterweights fromCanada and Australia, on Thursday.

UFC Struggle Night 33 is ready for Friday night time on the BrisbaneEntertainment Centre in Queensland, Australia, and is headlined bya heavyweight showdown between Mark Hunt andAntonioSilva.

Cote last competed at UFC 158, taking a unanimous resolution overBobbyVoelker in his first look at one hundred seventy kilos. Noke also had asuccessful welterweight debut within the Octagon, stopping CharlieBrenneman in forty five seconds at UFC 152.

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Two defenses fantasy football players must own for the playoffs

Buffalo Bills DT Marcell Dareus
Marcell Dareus will muscle OLs

In the event you’re in stable place to make your fantasy soccer playoffs, it is time to begin planning forward, stashing useful players in your bench.

Or on this case, defenses. Within the Fantasy Sports activities Writers Affiliation Trade Insiders League – a one hundred twenty-workforce, 10-division battle royale – it appears to be like like I’ll make the postseason, a 40-staff, multi-stage survivor collection, so to speak.

I don’t usually carry two DTs except it is a formidably deep league like this one. I’ve completed so now as a result of I need to save a hammer FAAB bid for the postseason, and it helps to get a bounce on any benefit doable.

Ergo, I’ve paired the Houston Texans with the Buffalo Bills. Take a look at their remaining schedules by means of the standard fantasy playoffs.

Check out all those Jacksonville Jaguars duels. Squee.

When picking a DT, I focus a lot much less on factors allowed and as an alternative on the ditch matchups, and for these two golf equipment, I’m optimistic on how their respective defensive traces will overpower their opponents’ front five for many of these contests.

eleven OAK NYJ
thirteen NE ATL
14 @JAX @TB
15 @IND @JAX

As for the midrange tilts: Geno Smith could torment the Bills’ secondary, however the New York Jets rook should be sacked a bunch within the process. The Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line ought to be weak enough to control, but with Roddy White transferring back into type, there’s extra threat than there was only a few weeks ago. Of course, smart betters usually go against Matt Ryan on the street.

The Indianapolis Colts’ absence of Reggie Wayne hasn’t stopped them in latest weeks, and T.Y. Hilton labored Houston the last time he confronted them. But with Gary Kubiak returning, it’s going to be helpful for Wade Phillips to give attention to simply D once more with out the crew being in second-half chaos.

I dig how the remainder of these matchups play out. Maybe the Denver Broncos will be in position to relaxation their playmakers, together with Peyton Manning (ankle), however I’ll wait on that one.

The Bills are still widely obtainable (sixty five percent of leagues I polled) and even Houston, who’s only unfastened in 22 percent, might still be snagged in a number of video games (for J.J. Watt alone).

Tim’s work has been featured by USA Today/Sports activities Weekly, amongst numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist within the Fantasy Sports Writers Affiliation awards. The Boston College alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won a number of trade leagues in both baseball and soccer.

Throughout baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports activities Radio, the place he typically crashes different exhibits, as nicely.
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Reward now $15,000 in football player’s slaying (Yahoo Sports)

reward,15000,football,players,slaying,yahoo,sportsYPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) – The reward for information in the slaying of Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed has been increased to $15,000.

Crime Stoppers of Michigan on Thursday announced the increase from $10,000.

Ypsilanti police Detective Joe Yuhas tells The Ann Arbor News that police continue to investigate the case and are following leads after getting ”good information.” The Detroit News reports police last week interviewed 10 people in their investigation.

Reed was fatally shot multiple times Oct. 18 at an off-campus apartment building in Ypsilanti in what police have said was a possible robbery.

The 20-year-old played in six games for Eastern Michigan this season. He was a communications major and starred as a receiver at Chicago’s Simeon Career Academy.


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Heisman winner Rodgers receives pardon for holdup (Yahoo Sports)


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Forty-three years after he and two other men held up a gas station following a night of drinking, 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers was granted a pardon from the state of Nebraska on Thursday

”I feel like the weight for that particular incident is off my shoulders,” Rodgers said after he walked out of his Board of Pardons hearing.

The board voted 3-0 to pardon the 62-year-old Rodgers, who has spent his post-football life as an entrepreneur and pitchman in Omaha.

Rodgers said he has long regretted what he called an alcohol-fueled prank in the spring of 1970. The holdup occurred the night after he completed his last day of classes his freshman year and netted $90 that was split three ways.

The crime was first investigated as an armed robbery. Rodgers pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of felony larceny and was sentenced to two years of probation. Rodgers has repeatedly denied that he had a gun during the holdup.

A pardon does not expunge Rodgers’ record, but it does restore civil rights he lost after his conviction, such as the right to be a juror, hold public office and hold certain licenses. The board also gave approval for Rodgers to own a firearm, if he chooses to.

The pardons board is made up of Gov. Dave Heineman, Attorney General Jon Bruning and Secretary of State John Gale.

Rodgers, wearing a red shirt under a dark blazer with a ”Win Your Life” lapel pin, told the board that he has lived a mostly good life and had met the criteria for a pardon.

”I’m seeking a pardon because this incident happened when I was 17 years old,” Rodgers told the board. ”I had 10 minutes of insanity, which has hurt me my whole life.”

Four friends, including Rodgers’ high school quarterback, testified in support of Rodgers. Former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne, who was Rodgers’ position coach, wrote a letter of support.

Gale mentioned that after the larceny conviction, Rodgers was picked up for driving under a suspended license in 1973 and had a drunken-driving conviction in 1997. Gale also noted that Rodgers’ record continues to show felony convictions in California for firearms charges related to a 1985 confrontation with a cable-television technician who was disconnecting service from his house.

Rodgers said he planned to seek a pardon in California.

Gale said Rodgers was to be commended for his work with youth, returning to the university to earn degrees in journalism and advertising and for, by all accounts, being a good father to his five children.

”You’ve done a lot of good things in your life as far as charity and with kids,” Bruning said. ”For our purposes, we require 10 years with a clean record and in the end, we treat similar people similarly whether they’re widely known or not widely known. Mr. Rodgers has done what we’ve asked of any applicant.”

Heineman said several people had contacted the board to weigh in against a pardon for Rodgers, hinting that he was being given special treatment. The board also received correspondence from people who pointed out that Rodgers had been hit with civil lawsuits for some of his business dealings.

The pardons board only considers criminal acts as obstacles to a pardon.

Heineman gave Rodgers an opportunity to answer those who say he was given special consideration because of his status as an All-America football player.

”I don’t think there’s anything special about what I’m requesting,” Rodgers said. ”It’s been a considerable amount of time that has taken place since the incident and I’ve actually had a pretty good history of trying to do positive things.”

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Robbie Lawler looking ‘Ruthless’ once again, but will he finally realize his potential? (Yahoo Sports)


For years, Robbie Lawler was mixed martial arts’ can’t-miss prospect who saved missing.

A rising star within the early days of the UFC’s Zuffa era, Lawler was hyped onerous as the subsequent huge factor.

But after practically a decade spent roaming from promotion to promotion as the man who by no means fairly lived as much as his potential, Lawler has develop into 2013’s best MMA redemption story. And with a win over highly touted welterweight Rory MacDonald on Saturday night at UFC 167 in Las Vegas, that lengthy-ago forecasted crack on the gold just would possibly come along in any case.

“I never lost sight of my objectives,” stated Lawler (21-9, 1 no-contest). “I never stopped considering I could attain the top. It was just a matter of getting my head in the best place.”

Lawler was barely 20 years old when he made his UFC debut with a unanimous-choice victory over Aaron Riley at UFC 37 in Could 2002. A pair of knockout wins in his next two fights established that he had thunder in his fists, and his fights were nights to circle on your calendar.

The young star rode with the game’s scorching camp of the moment: Miletich Combating Techniques in Bettendorf, Iowa. Run by the primary UFC a hundred and seventy-pound champion (the present welterweight title, known as light-weight at the time), Pat Miletich, the camp featured future UFC Hall of Famer after which-welterweight champ Matt Hughes, inaugural UFC 155-pound champ Jens Pulver and two-time heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia.

Robbie Lawler (R) is pushed away from Bobby Voelker. (USA Right now)


The sky appeared to be the limit as Lawler gained his first seven profession fights, six of them knockouts in six minutes or less.

“You do not respect what you’ve got when it all comes to you real fast,” Lawler said. “I went from nothing to every little thing unexpectedly.”

But issues quickly modified. An upset loss to Pete Spratt at UFC forty two was his first taste of defeat. That was a string of three losses in 4 fights – together with a memorable face-plant knockout by the hands of Nick Diaz – and his UFC run was over just because it began.

Hughes, for his half, stuck with his good friend by the down occasions. However he did not sugarcoat what was occurring.

“He was a young child,” Hughes stated. “He was in his teenagers for his first combat in the UFC, or his first struggle for sure. It was good for him to mature [after leaving the UFC] and to determine that combating is a fairly good gig.”

Asked to pinpoint what went incorrect, Lawler says there was never a particular reason.

“There was by no means this massive ‘Behind the Music’ sort of low point,” mentioned Lawler. “I don’t spend an excessive amount of time trying back anyway, simply ahead. All I ever needed to do was hold combating.”

That he did. Lawler continued on his merry way. At times, he appeared like a world beater, together with a formidable performance in profitable the Elite XC middleweight title from Murilo “Ninja” Rua in 2007, and in spotlight-reel Strikeforce knockouts of Melvin Manhoef and Matt Lindland.

Other occasions? Nicely, there were losses to the likes of “Babalu” Sobral and Tim Kennedy. A loss in his remaining Strikeforce struggle to Lorenz Larkin in 2012 did not elevate large expectations for his UFC return after Strikeforce folded, either.

However Lawler knew this was his last probability on the huge-time. He left the gym he co-owns with Hughes in Illinois and joined one of the sport’s premier camps, the American Top Team in South Florida.

“That made all the difference on the earth,” said Lawler. “I used to have to worry about being the man in cost. Now I can simply focus on my battle and have my coaches care for the remainder.


Rory MacDonald has received his final 5 UFC fights. (USA At this time)

“I know you’ll be able to’t fight without end, and there is solely so long you can do this,” Lawler continued. “I do not battle for my legacy or for the glory or something like that. The suggestions from the fans is sweet, do not get me improper; it is a good feeling having them you on their aspect. However I am motivated by making a great dwelling for my family, and that’s what made me get severe about this.”


That angle has shown each inside and outdoors the cage. Lawler has put himself in place for Comeback Fighter of the 12 months in 2013 by dropping vintage “Ruthless” bombs on both Josh Koscheck, who Lawler knocked out at UFC 157, and in beating a game Bobby Voelker, who Lawler polished off in a July struggle.

Exterior, Lawler, who used to be infamous for dodging fans and giving reporters one-phrase answers, has grasped that combined martial artists who master the PR sport and treat the fans proper make more money than those who don’t.

“The very fact is, he is getting mature now,” Hughes mentioned. “He is seeing the bigger picture. He knows that doing the PR and stuff shouldn’t be an enormous deal, and he’s getting it completed.”

So Lawler heads to Las Vegas this week with an opportunity he by no means might need imagined. Again when the UFC was celebrating its tenth anniversary, Lawler was the golden youngster and a future champion. As the UFC celebrates its twentieth anniversary, Lawler is again within the image.

And with a win over the UFC’s current welterweight golden child in MacDonald, Lawler could discover his likelihood to prove the prognosticators right in spite of everything.

“This the battle I needed,” Lawler mentioned. “I want to problem myself. I don’t want any easy fights. Rory’s legit, Rory goes to deliver it, and I plan on bringing it right back to him. He is an awesome fighter, but right now he’s the man who’s in the best way of my objectives.”

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A-Rod wants lawsuit vs MLB returned to NY court (Yahoo Sports)


FILE – In this Oct. 1, 2013, file photo, New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez arrives at the offices of Major League Baseball in New York. Attorneys for Rodriguez will appear in a New York courtroom for an initial court conference in his lawsuit against Major League Baseball. The New York Yankees third baseman is not expected at the meeting Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, in Manhattan federal court. (AP Photo/David Karp, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Alex Rodriguez wants his lawsuit against Major League Baseball and commissioner Bud Selig sent back to state court, and the sport said it will move to dismiss the case.

A day after an initial conference in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the feuding sides filed paperwork Friday explaining their intended motions.

MLB says the case should be heard in federal court because of provisions of the Labor Management Relations Act, known as Taft-Hartley. Rodriguez’s lawyers said that ”contradicts the positions MLB repeatedly took before the Florida state court in the lawsuit it filed against Biogenesis of America” and accuses the sport of taking ”a 180-degree turn.”

Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games by MLB in August for alleged violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract. The New York Yankees third baseman was allowed to keep playing until arbitrator Fredric Horowitz decides a grievance filed by the players’ union to overturn the penalty.

”Defendants have engaged in a systematic effort to destroy Mr. Rodriguez’s reputation, including by continually leaking false stories to the media about Mr. Rodriguez,” Rodriguez’s lawyers said, repeating allegations they have made several times.

MLB’s papers said Rodriguez’s ”outrageous and ill-founded allegations are utterly without merit (and) neither this court nor the state court can or should adjudicate those claims on the merits.”

MLB said the matter should be litigated under the arbitration procedure outlined in baseball’s labor contract because they involve interpretations of that agreement. It said the Biogenesis lawsuit was distinct because the defendants in that lawsuit are not parties to baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.

A hearing before U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield is scheduled for Jan. 23.

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Jeter deal leaves Yanks about $80M before tax (Yahoo Sports)


NEW YORK (AP) – Derek Jeter’s new contract has increased the Yankees’ luxury tax payroll to $97.71 million for seven signed players next year. That leaves New York with about $80 million to spend on the rest of its roster if the team wants to get under the 2014 tax threshold.

Jeter and New York agreed Friday to a $12 million, one-year contract. Major League Baseball determined its value for purposes of the luxury tax is $12.81 million.

The Yankees’ captain, injured for most of this year, was playing under a three-year contract with a player option for 2014 that wound up being worth $9.5 million and was replaced by the new salary.

Baseball’s luxury tax uses the average annual values of contracts as defined by the sport’s collective bargaining agreement. Determining Jeter’s payroll figure for the tax is complicated by the option and the new salary, and New York may contest his 2014 evaluation.

The Yankees want to re-sign free agents Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Hiroki Kuroda, and need to fill roster holes after missing the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years. The team figures to be interested in free-agent pitchers and catcher Brian McCann.

Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has said getting under the $189 million tax threshold for 2014 is a hope but is not essential.

”It’s a goal that we have if it’s possible,” general manager Brian Cashman said last month. ”There’s a lot of benefits to staying under that, but it’s not a mandate if it’s at the expense of a championship run. It just depends on what the opportunities are before us, and the costs associated with it.”

New York’s other signed players are Alex Rodriguez ($27.5 million), CC Sabathia ($24.4 million), Mark Teixeira ($22.5 million), Ichiro Suzuki ($6.5 million), Alfonso Soriano ($4 million) and Vernon Wells ($0).

The impacts of Soriano and Wells on New York’s luxury tax payroll were reduced because of cash being paid by their former clubs attributable to 2014. The Yankees will receive $18.6 million from the Los Angeles Angels as part of the acquisition of Wells last March and $13 million from the Chicago Cubs as a result of July’s deal for Soriano.

Rodriguez’s payroll impact for 2014 would drop to $2.5 million if arbitrator Fredric Horowitz upholds a 211-game suspension imposed on the third baseman by MLB for alleged violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract. Rodriguez, who is contesting the discipline, has a $25 million salary for next year, and the Yankees would not have to pay him for any period he is suspended.

Payrolls for the luxury tax include the entire 40-man roster and a 1-30th portion of the cost of benefits and extended benefits for all major leaguers. That category totals items such as health insurance premiums, pension payments, club medical costs and payroll, unemployment and Social Security taxes.

The 2013 figure will not be completed until next month. For 2012, each team’s payroll was assessed $10,779,500.

New York has paid luxury tax for every season since the provision was put in place for 2003, a total of $224.56 million. The Yankees will pay again for 2013, when the threshold was $178 million.

But there are large benefits if the Yankees get under the threshold in 2014. The team’s tax rate would drop from its current 50 percent to 17.5 percent in 2015, and New York would be eligible to get back a portion of its revenue-sharing payments.

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Cal player hospitalized after fight in locker room (Yahoo Sports)


BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) – Police are investigating an altercation in the California locker room that sent freshman running back Fabiano Hale to the hospital.

University police Lt. Marc DeCoulode said the incident occurred Friday afternoon. He declined to release the identity of the second player involved or any further details, citing the pending investigation.

The school released a statement Tuesday saying a player was taken to an urgent care facility on campus before being transferred to the hospital. A spokeswoman for Alta Bates Summit Medical Center said Hale was released on Saturday morning after receiving treatment for unspecified injuries.

Hale, a walk-on from Santa Cruz, has yet to play this season. He told the Santa Cruz Sentinel he suffered a concussion and had stitches around one of his ears.

”I have a headache still,” Hale told the newspaper.

Cal coach Sonny Dykes declined to comment when asked about the incident at his weekly news conference Tuesday. The Golden Bears host Southern California on Saturday.

The incident is the latest in a miserable debut season for Dykes.

The Bears are 1-8 this year. Cal’s only victory came against Portland State, which plays in the lower-tier Football Championship Subdivision.

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49ers LB Aldon Smith vows to stay healthy, clean (Yahoo Sports)


ANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) – Aldon Smith believes he is on the path to being sober for good.

Part of the process for the San Francisco 49ers’ All-Pro linebacker to rejoin the team following a five-week stint in rehab included a verbal commitment to the NFL that he would stay out of trouble and keep clean.

”I think any time we could all look into our lives and find something we need to work on,” Smith said Tuesday, seemingly relaxed. ”I’ve taken my time and I’ve done that.”

A clean-cut Smith – hair trimmed from his previous long, curly cut – returned to the 49ers’ locker room after his long absence and five missed games to cheers from teammates who chanted his first name. Everybody knows what he means to this franchise and defense – and the 49ers are hopeful he is as healthy as he looks and ready to return to the field as soon as Sunday’s home game with Carolina.

”I’m getting there. Every day’s just a step closer to getting to where I want to be,” Smith said at his locker after practice. ”I’ve gotten a lot of support, from my family, friends, organization, teammates and everything. And it really says a lot that people care about me outside the field and they care about me as a person.”


San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith fields questions in the team’s NFL football practice faci …

Smith had been on an indefinite paid leave of absence before being activated to the 53-man roster Thursday, two days after he turned himself in to Santa Clara County authorities on weapons charges. He met last Wednesday with team officials.

The fearsome pass-rusher is in shape despite a couple of extra pounds gained during his stint at an in-patient treatment center for substance abuse. He was at a facility outside California, he said, while declining to offer further details. He said he returned to the Bay Area on Oct. 28 after entering rehab in late September – and he was away for his 24th birthday Sept. 25.

Defensive teammate and fellow linebacker Patrick Willis is among those who sent periodic text messages to Smith during his time away.

”Aldon has been a guy since he came in who has been very productive for our defense, has been a playmaker for our defense,” Willis said. ”To get him back is a good thing, then, too, with his absence we were able to develop some depth with some of the other guys. It’s really going to be a strong point for us. When you have a guy such as Aldon with his talent, the biggest thing we can do for him is just let him know we’re here for him, let him know that we’re his teammates, but the main thing is just let him grow on his own.”

Smith played in a 27-7 home loss to the Colts on Sept. 22 and had five tackles just two days after he was arrested and jailed on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession. He apologized for his behavior after the game then later announced he would leave for treatment.


San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith fields questions in the team’s NFL football practice faci …

San Francisco (6-2) has won five straight games in impressive fashion without him.

Also in September, Smith and former teammate Delanie Walker were named in a lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court by a Northern California man who said he was shot at a party at Smith’s house on June 29, 2012.

Smith, selected seventh overall in the 2011 draft out of Missouri, had previously been arrested on suspicion of DUI in January 2012 in Miami shortly after the 49ers lost in the NFC championship game.

Now, Smith is moving forward. He’s thrilled to be reunited with not only his team but also his 10-month-old son, Aulis.

”He looks good, man,” running back Frank Gore said. ”I’m a big fan of Aldon, a young guy who has the potential to be one of the best at the position. I’m happy he’s back with the family. I know he can help our team, so that’s great.”


San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, third from left, joins teammates in the locker room in t …

While Smith is scheduled for court appearances each of the next two Tuesdays, he expects to be in practice.

Smith was charged Oct. 9 with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, stemming from that party at his home in June 2012.

”Of course, I didn’t want to be away from the sport I love. But it was good for me to get away and get my mind together and work, like I say, just to get to the positive spot I need to be at,” he said. ”I caught some of the games, some that were broadcast over there. So I was able to keep up with the guys and chime in here and there and wish them good luck.”

Smith had a franchise-record 19 1/2 sacks last season for the NFC champions. He has 4 1/2 sacks and 18 tackles over three games in 2013.

”I’m just taking it one day at a time, getting back here, being around the guys and just getting my life back at home,” Smith said.


San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith fields questions in the team’s NFL football practice faci …

Also Tuesday, leading 2012 wideout Michael Crabtree was cleared to resume practicing following May surgery to repair a torn right Achilles tendon. The 49ers now have three weeks to activate him.

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