Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals acquired reliever Jonathan Broxton from the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, supplementing their bullpen with another veteran.
“He has those late-inning experiences, and he’s been throwing the ball well,” manager Mike Matheny said. “A big arm with experience is a great addition to our club.”
The NL Central-leading Cardinals sent minor league outfielder Malik Collymore to their division rivals. St. Louis also received an unspecified amount of cash in the deal announced hours before the non-waiver trade deadline.
The 31-year-old Broxton has struggled this season in Milwaukee. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 5.89 ERA, but he had not allowed a run his last seven appearances.
Last week, St. Louis acquired another right-hander, former closer Steve Cishek from Miami, also for a minor leaguer.
“We felt confident he was trending in a real strong direction,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “Putting him into our bullpen with Cishek will help the manager in terms of making sure (Seth) Maness and (Kevin) Siegrist don’t get overused.”
Mozeliak said the Cardinals filled their other trade deadline objective, a left-handed hitter, by acquiring first baseman-outfielder Brandon Moss from the Indians on Thursday.
The last-place Brewers continue to trade away veterans. They dealt outfielder Gerardo Parra earlier Friday to Baltimore for minor league pitcher Zach Davies.
Broxton and Parra were both acquired at last year’s deadline by the Brewers, who were contending at the time. Broxton had a career-high 36 saves for the Dodgers in 2009.
Collymore was a 10th round draft pick in 2013 and has been playing at rookie-level Johnson City.
by Dave Skretta, AP
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito made it through all of training camp last season, through the long practices and insufferable heat on the campus of Missouri Western State University.
Neither of them made it through their first game of the season.
Johnson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, went down before halftime of the season opener with a torn Achilles tendon, leaving him 15 tackles shy of breaking the franchise’s career record.
DeVito, a key part of the Chiefs’ run defense, went down with the exact same injury just eight plays later, creating a 300-pound hole in the middle of their line.
So while Friday is usually a loathsome day for veterans as they report to the drudgery of training camp, it was hardly a surprise that Johnson and DeVito ambled up the pathway leading to Scanlon Hall with grins on their faces – and yes, some sweat on their brows.
“It feels great, whenever you have your health and strength back, to be back with the guys,” said Johnson, one of the Chiefs’ elder statesmen. “Everyone wants to see If I’ve lost a step – `Is he back to normal? Is he back to form?'”
The Chiefs are certainly counting on Johnson and DeVito.
Their pass defense was among the league’s best last season, but Kansas City struggled to stop the run. Twice the Chiefs allowed more than 200 yards rushing, and at one point they allowed more than 100 yards in six consecutive games. That stretch included a loss to the Broncos in which they allowed 214 yards, including 168 yards by unheralded C.J. Anderson.
“It’s tough to watch. It’s tough even when they do good. You want to be out there with them,” Johnson said. “I’m not the savior that’s going to save everything that went on with the running game, but am I going to help? A lot.”
So will DeVito, especially after learning that nose tackle Dontari Poe will miss camp and potentially much of the season following back surgery.
DeVito was expected to play alongside Poe at defensive tackle, but there’s a chance he could be asked to slide over to the nose position. He went through a similar situation during his final training camp with the New York Jets, and said he’s willing to do whatever is asked of him.
After all, he’s just happy to be back on the field.
“I enjoy playing down there. I enjoy playing nose. It’s just a couple feet over but it’s different,” DeVito said. “I played a bunch of snaps there in my final year with the Jets.”
The Chiefs expected everyone to report on time for Saturday’s first full-squad workout.
That includes All-Pro linebacker Justin Houston, who was threatening to hold out of training camp while his representatives worked to land him a long-term deal. The two sides had been trying to negotiate a contract going back to last offseason, but they didn’t come to terms until earlier this month, when Houston signed a $101 million, six-year contract.
Also on hand Friday was starting cornerback Sean Smith, who’s been suspended for the first three games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
Smith, who was arrested last year on a drunken driving charge, pleaded guilty earlier this year. The 28-year-old paid a fine and received two years of probation, but did not learn his fate from the NFL until last week. The typical suspension for first-time offenders is two games, but Smith got a third game added to his penalty for crashing into a light post.
“I wasn’t concerned with the number of games,” said Smith, who is entering a potentially pivotal contract year. “Besides, that’s a long time from now.”
The Chiefs will practice five consecutive days before getting a break on Thursday, then have five more days of practice leading into their preseason opener Aug. 15 at Arizona.
They play their first preseason game at Arrowhead Stadium against Seattle on Aug. 21 – the day that Johnson and DeVito will be returning to the site of their season-ending injuries.
“It’s been a long wait, coming off the injury, to get back here,” DeVito said. “Watching when you’re injured is always tough. That’s the reason I’m excited to be here.”
NOTES: Country music star Kenny Chesney was a guest for Chiefs’ morning practice involving rookies and quarterbacks, and even caught a few passes from Aaron Murray. “He looked smooth. He looked good out there,” Murray said. Chesney is performing at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday.
(West Plains) – Area residents can get their first look at the 2015 Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team in action at 2 p.m. Saturday, August 15, during the annual Grizzly Alumni Volleyball Match at the West Plains Civic Center arena.
The contest, which is being held in conjunction with the university’s annual Welcome Week activities, will be free and will pit the 2015 Grizzlies against players from previous squads.
“This is always a fun event for us and our fans,” Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann said. “It’s a chance to see this year’s team for the first time and some familiar faces from the past.”
The alumni will take on a Grizzly team that returns seven players from last year’s squad – sophomores Susannah Kelley, a 5-foot, 8-inch setter from Jonesboro, Arkansas; Zori Curry, a 6-foot, 2-inch middle attacker from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Pulotu Manoa, a 5-foot, 11-inch outside hitter from Concord, California; Gabby Edmondson, a 5-foot, 10-inch outside hitter from Christchurch, New Zealand; Ashley Bishton, a 6-foot, 2-inch middle/right side attacker from Liberty, Missouri; Breanna Taylor, a 6-foot outside hitter from Houston, Texas; and Guro Froberg, a 5-foot, 11-inch outside hitter from Askim, Norway.
Joining the returners will be transfer freshmen Stephanie Phillips, a 6-foot, 2-inch outside/right side attacker from Thornlands, Australia, and Lara Temel, a 6-foot, 1-inch middle/right side attacker from Istanbul, Turkey; along with freshmen Autumn Reese, a 5-foot, 6-inch defensive specialist from Ozark, Missouri; Alyssa Young, a 5-foot, 10-inch outside/right side attacker from Billings, Missouri; Maja Petronijevic, a 5-foot, 6-inch defensive specialist from Belgrade, Serbia; Abigail Bergman, a 5-foot, 6-inch defensive specialist from Perryville, Missouri; and Blanca Izquierdo, a 5-foot, 9-inch setter from Madrid, Spain.
For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, visit its website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/vb/.
(West Plains) – The West Plains Soccer Association is now accepting Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 soccer registrations for children ages 3 to 14.
Association officials say the cost is only $50 per child, which includes a jersey, 8 to 10 games in fall 2015 season and 8 to 10 games in the spring 2016 season.
West Plains Soccer Association Board Members will be at the West Plains Civic Center on August 3, 5, 18, and 20 from 5:30-7 PM. Parents are asked to bring payment and a copy of their child’s birth certificate. You may also register at www.westplainssoccer.com.
The deadline to register is Friday, August 21, and the fall season starts Saturday, September 12.
by RB Fallstrom, AP
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Despite Todd Gurley being ahead of schedule in his return from injury, the St. Louis Rams aren’t counting on the first-round pick right away.
General manager Les Snead said Thursday that Gurley was impressive in conditioning tests earlier this week with just the rookies on the field for one of the hottest days of the summer.
“The thing about Todd is he’s a large man coming off an ACL, it’s really hot and he’s rolling,” Snead said. “It’s very impressive that all of our rookies passed the test in that heat. It could have humbled a lot of guys.”
All of the veteran players also passed the conditioning test on Thursday. The first full-squad workout is Friday.
The Rams enter training camp confident they’re ready to contend in the NFC West, especially if newly acquired quarterback Nick Foles can stay healthy. St. Louis played its last 25 games without Sam Bradford, sidelined by a torn left ACL for two straight seasons.
“I anticipate us contending for the West,” Snead said. “I’m planning on it, expecting it, and not scared.”
Gurley is rehabbing from left knee surgery that cost him part of his final year at Georgia. Snead said the running back “still needs time.” Snead added there was no “black and white answer” for when the 10th pick of the draft might be ready to contribute.
“It’s all gray, so you have to kind of measure him on a weekly basis to see where he’s at,” Snead said.
Gurley did enough in six games last season to be selected as Georgia offensive MVP. He had 911 yards rushing with a 7.4-yard average, including a 208-yard game against Tennessee to go with nine touchdowns.
There’s depth at running back. Tre Mason, last year’s starter, and Benny Cunningham both return.
Mason had 765 yards rushing with a 4.3-yard average with nine starts. Cunningham had 45 receptions with a 7.8-yard average and 246 yards rushing with a 3.7-yard average.
Defense might have to carry the team for a while. All 11 starters are back, plus the top backups, too.
Led by Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald, the NFC defensive rookie of the year, St. Louis had 40 sacks the last 11 games after none the first five.
“Obviously, there’s more continuity on that side of the ball,” Snead said. “Early on you would love for them as we gel on offense, to be the bell cow.”
Offensive line is the biggest unsettled area on the team. Two rookies, second-rounder Rob Havenstein and third-rounder Jamon Brown, are set to start and the center will be a former backup, probably either Barrett Jones or Tim Barnes.
Plus, left tackle Greg Robinson is entering his second season after being the second overall pick of the 2014 draft out of Auburn. That leaves guard Rodger Saffold as the only true veteran up front.
Snead said that might lead to some simplification in the play-calling.
“You figure that out along the way,” the GM said. “But it never reaches a level where, `Wait a minute, we’re handicapped.'”
The newcomers will be getting as many repetitions as possible, which could mean playing deeper into preseason games to gain experience before the Sept. 13 opener against NFC champion Seattle at home.
Snead said three days of practices with the Cowboys in Oxnard, California, also will be invaluable.
The lone injury concern is sixth-round pick Cody Wichmann, a guard who injured a leg in OTAs and will be on the PUP list.
by Jim Salter, AP
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals will stay on Fox Sports Midwest through 2032, thanks to an agreement announced Thursday.
The 15-year deal begins in 2018 and runs through the 2032 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Cardinals are a lynchpin of Fox Sports Midwest, which broadcasts games to parts of 10 states. Cardinals games are the highest-rated prime-time programming in St. Louis during the baseball season, and the local ratings ranked first among all Major League Baseball teams in 2014. This season, only the Kansas City Royals have higher local ratings.
“The St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues are really critical to our St. Louis operation,” Fox Sports Midwest Senior Vice President and General Manager Jack Donovan said. “They provide the backbone to our programming. The Cardinals have 150 games, which is an awful lot of premium content for the network.”
Local rights packages in baseball have skyrocketed in value as live-event programming has become increasingly popular among viewers and advertisers.
“Sports have emerged as some of the best content on television,” Donovan said. “They’re not in reruns, it’s unpredictable, fewer commercials. People like that.”
Plus, the Cardinals have been among baseball’s most successful franchises for several years – on and off the field. In the two decades under the current ownership, the Cardinals have been to the postseason 12 times, won four National League pennants and two world championships.
The new rights package should help the team retain some of its stable of young talent that includes pitchers Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha and Trevor Rosenthal, as well as second baseman Kolten Wong and outfielder Randal Grichuk.
Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement that Fox Sports Midwest has “done an excellent job with our telecasts, and this agreement will help us remain competitive in all areas of talent acquisition, from the amateur draft and international market to the Major League payroll.
“It also enables continued investment by the Cardinals in Busch Stadium, Ballpark Village, and other strategic initiatives,” he said.
Patrick Rishe, director of the Sports Business program at Washington University in St. Louis, said live sporting events provide content for the male 25-45 demographic that advertisers cherish.
“Baseball is not America’s pastime anymore, it’s football,” Rishe said. “But it’s still a very valuable sports property, especially in the summertime, when there’s very little competition for the consumer’s attention.”
Such deals are common in the MLB. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Fox Sports Arizona announced a new 20-year deal in February. And when Albert Pujols left St. Louis as a free agent, the Los Angeles Angels were able to outbid St. Louis in part because of a new TV rights package.
by Tom Withers, AP
CLEVELAND (AP) — Brandon Moss was sorry to see close friend David Murphy traded earlier this week by the Indians.
Now he’s gone, too.
Moss was dealt Thursday to the St. Louis Cardinals, who were in the market for an outfielder after seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday re-injured his right quadriceps on Wednesday.
In exchange for Moss, who was in his first season with the Indians, the Indians received minor league pitcher Rob Kaminsky, a first-round pick in 2013.
The Cardinals lead the NL Central by 4 1/2 games over Pittsburgh. However, St. Louis is in an offensive funk and hasn’t scored a run in 22 consecutive innings after being blanked 1-0 on Wednesday by the Cincinnati Reds.
And Holliday is out again with the same injury that sidelined him for 31 games earlier this season. The Cardinals will hope to get some pop from Moss, who signed a one-year, $6.5 million contract as a free agent with Cleveland during the offseason. While he did produce – 15 homers, 50 RBIs in 94 games – the Indians have fallen back in the AL wild-card race and figure they would try to get something for the 31-year-old.
Following Cleveland’s sixth straight loss on Monday night to Kansas City, Moss, who played four seasons in the NL with Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, expressed disappointment at seeing Murphy traded to the Los Angeles Angels and a season that hasn’t gone well for the Indians.
“Nobody’s happy. Nobody’s enjoyed this season,” Moss said. “It’s just one of those things where, the more you try, the more adjustments you try to make, we’re just not making them. Whether we try to make them, whether we go up there with a different approach, everything seems to fall apart.”
Kaminsky is another strong arm for Cleveland’s future.
The 20-year-old was selected with the No. 28 overall pick two years ago and was considered one of the top prospects in the Cardinals system.
Kaminsky has spent the entire season at Single-A Palm Beach, going 6-5 with a 2.09 ERA in 17 starts. He is currently leading the Florida State League in ERA and has 79 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings.
In parts of three minor league seasons, Kaminsky is 14-10 with a 2.15 ERA.
by Joe Harris, AP
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Their silent bats were only one concern for the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
Not only did the team’s scoreless streak extend to 22 consecutive innings in a 1-0 loss to the Reds at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals also lost outfielder Matt Holliday to another right quad strain – the same injury that caused the seven-time All-Star to miss 31 games this season.
Holliday pulled up lame while running to first in what turned out to be a double play to end the first inning. Mark Reynolds entered the game at first, moving Stephen Piscotty into left field.
“Only thing I do know, it’s the same spot as before,” manager Mike Matheny said. “He’s getting a MRI tonight. No results as of yet, but trying to get it looked at as quick as possible to see the severity.”
The loss of Holliday is another blow to a sputtering offense. The Cardinals have scored just seven runs in their last five games and all of their runs in the Reds series came on one swing of the bat: a fourth-inning grand slam by Kolten Wong on Monday.
“This is a team that will produce, can produce at times,” Matheny said. “It just didn’t come as easy and we got to figure out a way to get it done and just haven’t been able to get it done the last couple of nights.”
The Cardinals squandered another strong outing from John Lackey (9-6), who gave up two hits in eight innings and has posted a 1.67 ERA during his last nine outings.
Lackey’s only mistake was a home run to Jay Bruce in the second that barely cleared the fence in center field.
“I thought he (Randal Grichuk) had a pretty good chance to catch it, but the guy’s got some serious pop and it just kind of kept going,” Lackey said.
Bruce called his homer, which moved him ahead of Barry Larkin into ninth in franchise history with 199 homers, one of the oddest of his career.
“I think it was actually ruled an inside-the-park home run,” Bruce said. “The umpire after the home run told me that he kept the ball in play the whole time because he thought it was rolling on top of the wall and obviously it wasn’t, it was in the grass by a few inches, but I thought that was interesting.”
Bruce’s blast was all Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani (6-7) needed as the rookie pitched seven innings of three-hit ball.
“Threw a good mix of pitches in there, I was working well with (catcher Brayan) Pena,” DeSclafani said. “I threw my breaking ball a little more today and I think that made a little more of a difference.”
Reds manager Bryan Price was impressed with the rookie’s resolve.
“What I admire so much about this guy is that he just doesn’t back down to the challenge,” Price said. “To squeak out a 1-0 victory with no margin for error is really very impressive.”
Aroldis Chapman collected his 21st save in 22 opportunities with a perfect ninth.
The Reds ended a nine-series losing streak in St. Louis and have won consecutive games at Busch Stadium for the first time since July 6 and Sept. 2, 2011. It was the first time Cincinnati won consecutive games in the same series since June 2006.
Cardinals: RHP Jordan Walden (right bicep) began a rehab stint at Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday, pitching two-thirds of an inning in his first work since going on the disabled list on April 30. Walden threw 15 pitches, gave up a hit and a walk and struck out one in a scoreless outing.
Reds: LHP David Holmberg (NR) will make his major league debut Thursday to kick off a four-game series at home against Pittsburgh. Holmberg’s presence means four of the five starters in the rotation are rookies.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (11-4, 2.34 ERA) is seeking his 11th straight quality start as the Cardinals cap an 11-game home stand with a four-game series against the Rockies starting Thursday.
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians found the perfect way to avoid a winless homestand.
Corey Kluber took a shutout into the ninth, and rookie Francisco Lindor hit a three-run homer and had a career-high four RBIs in a 12-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
“We needed a day like today,” said manager Terry Francona, who was ejected in the fifth inning. “That’ll help us. Now we need to carry it over.”
Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes and rookie Giovanny Urshela hit solo homers for the Indians, who had been outscored 37-10 in losing the first six games of the homestand. Michael Bourn was 4 for 5 as Cleveland had a season-high 18 hits.
Four losses to the Chicago White Sox and two more to the Royals dropped the Indians to last place in the AL Central.
“It was very important for us to get our confidence back,” Lindor said. “We’ll take the things we did the right way and try to do it again tomorrow.”
Kluber (6-11) held Kansas City to five hits in his second career complete game. The reigning Cy Young Award winner retired the first 12 batters before Eric Hosmer’s leadoff double in the fifth. Alex Rios’ RBI groundout in the ninth scored the Royals’ only run.
Kluber, who struck out six and walked one, had been 0-3 against Kansas City this season.
“I guess they’ve had success against me earlier in the year being really aggressive,” Kluber said. “They have the best record in the league. They’ve been hot for a while.”
Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie allowed three home runs – all in the sixth inning – and hit three batters, including Brantley in the fifth. Brantley got even with his home run, which he admired from the batter’s box before slowly trotting around the bases.
Francona was ejected by plate umpire Tom Woodring after Brantley was hit in the leg. Francona was upset that Guthrie wasn’t ejected because Woodring had warned both benches after the Royals pitcher hit Jason Kipnis in the back in the second inning.
Kipnis exchanged words with catcher Drew Butera as he walked to first base. Guthrie also hit Gomes with the bases loaded in the first.
The issues between the teams began Monday when Indians pitcher Cody Anderson hit Jarrod Dyson, prompting a warning to both dugouts.
The Royals, who had won 16 of 21, still had a good stay in Cleveland, acquiring ace pitcher Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist.
“You’re going to have some highs and lows along the way, but the reality is we’ve got the second-best record in baseball (behind St. Louis) at this point,” manager Ned Yost said.
The Indians’ first-inning run gave them their first lead of the homestand. Cleveland hadn’t led since July 22 against Milwaukee, a stretch of 54 innings.
GETTING THE BOOT
Francona’s discussion with Woodring didn’t last very long before the manager was ejected for the third time this season.
“I didn’t think that was appropriate. I think they protect the younger umpires. If he’s old enough to throw me out, he’s old enough to listen to what I say,” Francona said.
Indians: OF Nick Swisher (sore left knee) will continue his minor league rehab assignment during the team’s six-game road trip. He’s been on the 15-day disabled list since June 14.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy, who is 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA in six starts since returning from a biceps injury, takes the mound Thursday to open a four-game series in Toronto.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco pitches the first game of a four-game set Thursday at Oakland. He allowed a season-high six runs in a 10-3 loss to the White Sox on July 25.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Royals have traded right-hander Joe Blanton to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.
Blanton, 34, was designated for assignment Tuesday, when Johnny Cueto reported to the Kansas City following his trade from Cincinnati. Blanton was 2-2 with a 3.89 ERA in four starts and 11 relief appearances this season.
A former first-round draft pick, Blanton is 87-91 in 11 major league seasons.
The trade was announced Wednesday.