Ramirez leaves after taking pitch to left hand


UPDATE: In accordance with a live replace through the SportsNet LA broadcast, the workforce's training staff confirmed X-rays were unfavorable. The Dodgers have since officially introduced the news. Exhale, Dodgers fans.


Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez left Wednesday night time's sport after being hit by a pitch in the left hand. He was in obvious ache afterwards, and whereas he tried to speak supervisor Don Mattingly and the coaching staff into allowing him to remain in, he was faraway from the game instantly.

Listed below are two angles of the pitch:

Ramirez, 30, missed the start of last season with a thumb harm suffered while diving for a ball during the World Baseball Classic. He additionally missed time with a hamstring drawback. Despite the Dodgers-Giants rivalry, it is fairly clear Ryan Vogelsong did not hit Hanley deliberately.

In 14 games coming into Wednesday, Ramirez was hitting291/.381/.527 (147 OPS+) with seven doubles and two home runs. He hit a robust345/.402/.638 (189 OPS+) with 20 home runs in 86 video games after returning from the thumb and hamstring issues last season.

The Dodgers have not but released an replace on Ramirez. Clearly dropping him for any length of time could be devastating.

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CONCACAF taking legal action against Warner


Former FIFA vp Jack Warner insists he'll combat legal action difficult his ownership of an opulent centre of excellence in Trinidad built with FIFA cash.

The Joao Havelange centre was constructed by way of grants totalling as a lot as 15.5 million pounds from FIFA and the North American governing body CONCACAF, however it emerged two years ago that Warner was the owner of the land on which it was constructed.

CONCACAF has now filed a legal action in Trinidad, referred to as a caveat, which seeks to dam Warner from mortgaging, leasing or selling the centre.

Warner, who resigned from FIFA in 2011 after becoming embroiled in a bribery scandal, mentioned he had no intention of promoting the centre.

Warner informed Press Association Sport: "I wish to state categorically that the Centre of Excellence just isn't on the market.

"Let me also state that CONCACAF doesn't have any equitable curiosity in the Centre of Excellence and has no claims to ownership.

"If CONCACAF certainly has filed a caveat in opposition to me all I can say is that each CONCACAF and FIFA have limitless funding and so they can spend their cash as they wish if they need to do this."

Warner, an MP and former Cupboard minister in Trinidad who last 12 months fashioned a new political party, said the action was part of a political vendetta towards him by the Caribbean island's attorney common.

CONCACAF has mentioned it provided 11 million kilos in direction of funding the centre, which features a swimming advanced and health centre, a backyard sanctuary, a forty four-room resort, a theatre seating 800 individuals and a banqueting and reception hall. The 6,000-seat Marvin Lee Stadium, which has artificial turf, is also part of the centre.

Final year, Warner claimed he was personally given the money to build the centre of excellence in return for helping Sepp Blatter's election as FIFA president in 1998.

Warner has produced letters from Havelange, Blatter's predecessor, apparently exhibiting the 4 million pound FIFA loan for the centre, constructed on land owned by Warner, had been converted right into a grant.

In return, Warner says he delivered the 30 votes wanted for Blatter – at the time "probably the most hated FIFA official" in Warner's phrases – to beat Lennart Johansson for the FIFA presidency in 1998 and named the centre after Havelange.

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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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Carmelo sits

The Knicks awoke on Christmas and located coal in their stocking.

The crew announced forward Carmelo Anthony can be out for Wednesday’s game in opposition to the Thunder because of a sprained ankle. Anthony was stated to be a recreation-time choice.

Anthony injured the ankle in Monday’s sport against the Magic.

With out Anthony, the Knicks might move Tim Hardaway Jr. into the starting 5 taking part in Iman Shumpert at small forward.

Anthony’s absence is obviously a blow to a marquee Christmas game that may’ve featured him matching up with Kevin Durant. As a substitute, it’s a depleted Knicks squad taking up a Western Conferenc power. Oh boy.

Anthony, 29, is averaging 26.three factors, 8.eight rebounds and 2.8 assists this season.

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On the Golden State Warriors: taking the 3-and-D concept to the extreme

Nov 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) attempts a shot in opposition to the Utah Jazz in the second quarter at Oracle Enviornment. Obligatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports activities

Lately, the idea of “three-and-D” function players has been popularized all through the NBA, and for good purpose. Teams have appropriately discovered that three-level shots and attempts at the rim are essentially the most environment friendly shots on the court, and subsequently are key parts of profitable in immediately’s NBA.

Conversely, defending the three-ball and accumulating points in the paint are vitally essential in their very own right. There are a dearth of true submit scorers within the league immediately, which means that players that can each shoot the three and defend on the perimeter (thus guarding towards the three-point shot and conserving opposing guards from easily stepping into the lane) are at a premium.

There are only a specific amount of stars within the NBA, of course. And groups have recognized that the role players that fill in round these stars must do a minimum of one factor exceptionally, or a couple of issues fairly effectively. Some of the frequent overlapping talent sets is capturing and protection, or, on the very least, the flexibility to protect the perimeter at a mean rate without fouling.

The Houston Rockets have been masters of accumulating these position players for years, from the times of Ron Artest and Courtney Lee, to Chase Budinger and Carlos Delfino, to Chandler Parsons, Omri Casspi, and Francisco Garcia. A excessive volume of three-point pictures at good effectivity, plus stable, no-foul perimeter defense equals profitable basketball.

Now, we arrive on the 2013-14 Golden State Warriors. This is a group that, after it’s gutsy swap that centered around giving leading scorer Monta Ellis to accumulate oft-injured but defensive-minded center Andrew Bogut from Milwaukee, had quite a lot of query marks getting into the 2012-13 campaign. Of course, the biggest query was (and stays) well being, however the roster was more than solid.

They had been nonetheless overlooked for much of final season, until a late charge and a playoff series victory over the fifty seven-win Denver Nuggets in the first spherical catapulted them firmly onto the nationwide stage. Stephen Curry’s report-breaking three-point barrage within the postseason and the play of younger wing players Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes gained much of the attention, and rightly so. But David Lee’s season-ending harm suffered in the playoffs and Andrew Bogut’s 32-video games-played regular season put a damper on the ultimate end result and the outlook heading into this season.

The Warriors lost sixth man Jarrett Jack to Cleveland through free company, however were in a position to transfer the expiring offers of Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, and Brandon Rush to the Utah Jazz (together with 2014 and 2017 first round draft picks) in order to clear sufficient cap house to signal star wing Andre Iguodala to a four-year, $forty eight million pact.

The new Warriors beginning lineup? Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, David Lee, and Andrew Bogut. That’s fairly strong, to say the least. The bench? Shored up with off-season acquisitions Marreese Speights, Toney Douglas, and Jermaine O’Neal, who join two second-year gamers in Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green.

Not exactly a stellar bench. However it’s straightforward to see what Golden State’s front office is making an attempt to accomplish. Curry and Thompson are sharpshooters. Barnes is a (perceived) “three-and-D” participant. Iguodala has been arguably the most effective one-on-one wing defender within the NBA over the previous few years. And in the paint? A wholesome Bogut, backed-up by an getting older but still very defensively-efficient O’Neal is fairly respectable. Lee fits excellent next to Bogut, as they each complement every others weaknesses.

The Warriors’ defense is definitely quite impressive. They rotate in unison and change seamlessly at almost every event. Bogut and Iguodala are two of the premier (if not the premier) defensive players at their respective positions, and might help cover for the shortcomings of sub-par defenders like Lee or common-at-greatest defenders like Curry and Thompson.

Offensively, the Curry-Lee choose-and-roll/pop game is deadly. It’s choose your poison, with a Curry jumper in all probability being the worst possible poison to choose. The Lee elbow jumper isn’t a ton higher, and he’s decent enough when rolling to the rim as properly. Area the ground with Thompson and a slashing Iguodala, and you’ve got your self a pleasant recipe for a high-octane offense.

However, let’s be picky for a quick moment. The downfall of this workforce could middle around the stagnant nature of the offense sans Curry. If the Warriors are to be thought-about true contenders, there’s nothing fallacious with taking a more in-depth take a look at their greatest flaw.

In fact, there isn’t lots of scoring within the paint or much in the way of publish offense going on with these Warriors. This doesn’t matter when Curry, Thompson, and firm are scorching hot, however there aren’t a complete lot of locations to go for offense when the bench takes the floor.

This predicament led to two consecutive isolation plays for Klay Thompson on this sport in opposition to Utah. The first resulted in a help defender swatting away a feeble shot try, whereas the second progressed within the following style:


The Warriors give Thompson the ball in isolation contained in the three-level on the correct wing. He takes a pair dribbles into the lane, and is straight away quadruple-teamed right in entrance of the rim.


He’s unable to get a shot up and/or draw a foul, and sloppily kicks the ball out to Lee. He can’t catch the ball cleanly, and the play finally ends with a scramble and the ball sailing out of bounds. The ball is circled in the screenshot under. It isn’t significantly near any players.


It must be pointed out that the Warriors’ floor spacing and stability was horrific in this possession, as well as in the preceding possession when Thompson discovered his shot being knocked aside by a assist defender that he by no means saw coming, so it will probably’t be solely blamed on Thompson. But that’s part of the difficulty: the starting lineup performs one way, however the bench has no hope or prayer of enjoying in a similar way. Thus, the bench will struggle to search out it’s way, particularly if they run continual isolation units for Klay Thompson.

Clearly, this was a crude option to show that the Warriors’ second crew lacks a sure…path. The Warriors offense is Stephen Curry, and gamers like Thompson and Barnes play off of him. Without a backup point guard that can be trusted (Toney Douglas has only played in 7 of 12 video games to this point, even with Curry missing 2 video games already), the bench is rudderless.

Clearly, it is a playoff workforce. However rely me as somebody that is still skeptical of this crew for two causes, which are actually one big, looming purpose: the bench, and the history of great injuries to key gamers.

Sure, the bench is okay total. However basic consensus nonetheless overrates Barnes’ skills on both ends of the ground, and Speights and Douglas merely aren’t superb players. O’Neal is cooked on the offensive facet of the ball, and Inexperienced doesn’t present a lot on that end, both. Backup level guard is by far the most important concern, nonetheless, given Curry’s injury historical past and the shortage of depth behind him.

In what was a special treat to Warriors and NBA fans alike, Curry managed to start out 78 of eighty two video games final season. Nonetheless, he’s already missed two games this yr to completely different ailments, playing in 10 of 12 contests. And his ankles seemingly haven’t even been a problem yet. Here’s hoping that they gained’t be, as a result of starting Iguodala at point guard isn’t exactly an answer. (Incidentally, they’re 0-2 to date this 12 months when Iguodala begins at the ’1′ and Barnes slides into the beginning lineup on the ’2′-spot.)

Even ignoring the opportunity of accidents to Curry and the lack of depth at point guard, there isn’t a lot scoring at all on the bench. Barnes isn’t nearly environment friendly enough to be a web optimistic on the court, and until he figures that out, the starters will be run into the bottom by coach Mark Jackson.

Golden State sacrificed depth for a extra high-heavy, star-laden rotation. In the playoffs, it ought to absolutely work and be efficient. Over the course of an eighty two-game season with two fragile, harm-susceptible key starters in Curry and Bogut? A roll of the cube, to be sure.

Subjects: Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Golden State Warriors, Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, NBA, Stephen Curry

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Grinnell’s Taylor nets 109 points with 24 3s

Jack Taylor Scores 109 Points


GRINNELL, Iowa – Jack Taylor renewed his membership within the Century Club.

Taylor scored 109 points for Division III Grinnell College on Sunday, shooting 24-for-48 on three-pointers in a 173-123 win over Crossroads. He poured in 53 throughout the first 9 minutes of the second half.



The 5-foot-10 guard from Black River Falls, Wis., set an NCAA record for any stage by scoring 138 factors final Nov. 20 in a 179-104 win over Religion Baptist Bible College.

The one different participant to attain more than 109 in an NCAA recreation was Rio Grande’s Clarence “Bevo” Francis, who had 113 against Hillsdale in 1954.

In opposition to Crossroads School, in Rochester, Minn., Taylor was 35 of 70 general from the sphere whereas taking part in solely 29 minutes. He made 15 of 17 foul shots.

“Similar to last year, I could not have done this with out my teammates,” Taylor said. “I give so much credit to them. This really was a team effort. I am grateful for the program and the folks I’ve taking part in with me.”

Taylor scored 71 factors in the Pioneers’ 144-ninety nine victory Friday in the season opener towards Finlandia.

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Melo on latest defeat: Like we’re not trying

Hawks Hand Knicks Fifth Straight Residence Loss

Hawks Hand Knicks Fifth Straight Residence Loss


NEW YORK – Following the New York Knicks’ fifth straight loss at Madison Sq. Backyard, a disgusted Carmelo Anthony said it looked as if the crew wasn’t even making an attempt in a 110-90 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony was perplexed to describe the Knicks’ latest loss Saturday night time.

“We ain’t taking part in worth a s- right now,” Anthony stated. “We acquired to play harder.

“I am upset too in all of our effort. We are simply not getting it carried out. It ain’t nothing that Coach [Mike] Woodson is doing [or not doing]. It ain’t got nothing to do with X’s and O’s out there on the basketball courtroom. We are not getting it completed from an effort standpoint. It’s like we are not even attempting proper now.”

Although Anthony says Woodson is not to blame, Knicks fans nonetheless briefly chanted “Hearth Woodson” within the third quarter.

The house followers have not had a lot to cheer for thus far this season. The Knicks (3-6) haven’t received at the Garden since their ninety-83 season-opening victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 30. They’ve lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte Bobcats, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Atlanta at residence.

In the course of the loss to Minnesota, the Knicks surrendered 40 points within the first quarter. In a a hundred and twenty-89 loss to the Spurs last Sunday, they trailed 21-four in the first quarter and fell behind by as many as 37.

Towards the Hawks (6-four), the Knicks were inside five (84-seventy nine) with eight:39 remaining before permitting a 14-2 run during which Atlanta scored on three layups and a dunk.

“You’re not going to beat anyone taking part in gentle and not hard like we did,” Woodson said. “They played extraordinarily extremely onerous tonight and we just did not compete with them.”

Woodson mentioned he may tinker together with his lineup once more. The Hawks shot 56.4 % from the field in opposition to a Knicks protection minus the injured Tyson Chandler, who’s out for no less than a month with a fractured leg.

The players spoke afterward within the locker room.

J.R. Smith – after a three-for-18 night from the ground that saw him miss eight-of-9 3-point tries – took among the blame.

“Excuse my language however I was playing like s-,” he said. “I performed horrible. I’ve been taking part in horrible since I obtained again and I wasn’t blissful about it.”

Anthony, who led the Knicks with 23 points and 12 rebounds, left the Garden baffled and indignant.

“You just got to do more I suppose,” Anthony said. “Simply try to go out there and get it performed as a team. I am not going to do it on my own. I do not want to do it by myself. We received to do it as a group. We preserve digging ourselves deeper and deeper.

“It is frustrating. Messed up feeling. Nasty feeling. I actually am kind of puzzled right now.”

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San Antonio Spurs big man Jeff Pendergraph is now Jeff Ayres, taking his father’s name

The heart previously generally known as Jeff Pendergraph readies a free throw (Nathaniel S. Butler/ Getty).

The phrase “making a reputation for himself” became a cliche long ago, nevertheless it’s however straightforward to miss just how a lot an NBA athlete depends on his name for recognition and profession-constructing. Although elevated media coverage means that many fans might even see a player in highlights before they study who he’s, a name nonetheless carries numerous associations. When somebody says “Michael Jordan,” it brings to mind a number of moments, accolades, and opinions. This point isn’t significantly novel, after all — we all know what names are — nevertheless it helps talk the presumed permanence of a name. We keep in mind it as shorthand for everything contained within a single particular person. People don’t switch them up until they have very good causes.

For an individual with a selected set of life circumstances, a name is not only a public thing, however a mark of exactly how that person views his family’s current and future. For his total public life, journeyman heart Jeff Pendergraph, who signed a two-12 months contract with the San Antonio Spurs, has used the surname of a person who hasn’t been a significant a part of his life since he was a teen. When his daughter was born this summer time, the one-time Pendergraph decided it was time for a new title. From Jeff McDonald for the San Antonio Express-Information:

Last month, Pendergraph walked into a courthouse in downtown Phoenix, his wife Raneem and newborn daughter Naomi in tow. He walked out with a new title — Jeff Ayres.

Ayres is family identify of his organic father, James. It replaces the surname of a stepfather who hasn’t been within the image because the player previously identified Jeff Pendergraph was in high school. […]

“I did not know who my dad was until I was a senior in high school,” Jeff Ayres stated Wednesday, throughout a break from pickup video games as the Spurs’ apply fitness center. He was born Jeff Orcutt, using his mother LaDona’s maiden identify, and became Pendergraph in elementary school when she married. […]

“In highschool and recruiting, that’s how all people knew me, as Pendergraph,” Ayres mentioned. “I did not want to change it, as a result of then individuals wouldn’t know who I was. It caught.” […]

Ayres noticed no need for Naomi to carry a name he felt no connection to himself. He didn’t need her to develop up with questions about the Pendergraphs. Not wanting to modify back to Orcutt, the quickly-to-be-former Jeff Pendergraph and his spouse contemplated ranging from scratch with a completely new moniker. They joked about legally dubbing themselves “Mr. and Mrs. Superior.”

McDonald adds that the 2 Ayres males are still engaged on building a extra substantive relationship, however this determination still stands as the act of a brand new father trying to reconcile his past with his complete household’s future. It’s a touching story partly as a result of it isn’t but finished — the title change is not the conclusion, however something closer to a development of what’s going to doubtless be a lifelong process for Ayres, his spouse, and his daughter.

As famous by Ben Golliver at The Level Ahead, the swap will be most apparent for fans when they learn the lettering on the again of Ayres’s jersey, which is able to go from an 11-letter, closely arched curiosity to a shorter, more manageable five characters. There’s additionally the matter of getting used to calling him Jeff Ayres, naturally, however that doesn’t appear so daunting. I feel he can vault ahead of this Louisville therapy heart and this political science professor in web search results.

BDL will do its half to help fans during this transition. We want the Ayres household the best, as effectively.


Puig Pong! Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig and Tony La Russa play ping pong at Clayton Kershaw’s event

(@Molly_Knight on Twitter)

Clayton Kershaw, whose uncle Clyde Tombaugh actually found Pluto in case you hadn’t heard, hosted a ping pong match for Kershaw’s nonprofit foundation on Thursday. Kershaw and his superstar companion, Matthew Perry, won, however that is not practically as fascinating as Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig taking up Tony La Russa.

Thankfully, reporter Molly Knight of ESPN was readily available to seize the taking place at Dodger Stadium on film. Puig and his actor teammate beat La Russa and Dodgers lefty Chris Capuano, Knight stories. It appears to have been a grueling matching, physically and mentally.

(@Molly_Knight on Twitter)

Two observations: Puig seems worn out. What a couple of days for him, eh? The other observation: La Russa takes dropping as well as ever. By no means change, TLR!

(@Molly_Knight on Twitter)

Kershaw is pumped to be champ, and it’s like Matthew Perry can’t believe they won. Additionally, headbands! It additionally needs to be mentioned that Kershaw is de facto taking to acting, which is a should in Hollywood:


Maradona accused of kicking photographer in the groin ‘like he was taking a free kick’


Like the people who run with the bulls in Pamplona, the paparazzi in Argentina continue to tempt fate and risk their fertility by following Maradona around Buenos Aires. In the latest incident, a photographer for a neighborhood superstar journal met the wrath of Maradona’s foot and was worse off for it.

From the AP:

The “Gente” journal photographer Enrique Medina filed a police criticism claiming the 1986 World Cup winner attacked him outside Maradona’s father’s home on Sunday evening.

Medina informed the Associated Press on Monday that Maradona ran at him “like he was taking a free-kick” and kicked him so hard within the groin and higher leg space that he “doubled over in ache”.

This comes two months after Maradona threw stones at photographers who adopted him from the airport and was caught on video kicking one in all them. And again in 1994 he famously acquired a suspended jail sentence of two years and 10 months for shooting an air rifle at journalists.

The lesson here? If you’re going to take pictures of Maradona, be sure to put on a medieval swimsuit of armor while you do it. And if Maradona starts lining up your crotch like he is taking a free kick you might need to move.