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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Stories by Darryn Albert:

Vin Scully turns down invite to return to booth for NLCS

Vin Scully

Despite Joe Buck’s best efforts to lure him back into the broadcasting booth, Vin Scully is staying happily retired.

During Saturday’s NLCS Game 2 between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers, Buck, who is the lead announcer for FOX Sports, said on the air that he was hoping Scully might join him in the booth when the series returned to Dodger Stadium. On Sunday, Scully responded to the overture.

“I don’t want to just take a bow,” said the 90-year-old sportscasting legend, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. “I just don’t feel right doing that.

“It’s not false modesty. I just think I don’t belong there,” Scully continued. “Those fellows have been broadcasting all year. I don’t want to get into their spotlight in any way, shape, or form. I think they’re doing a wonderful job.”

Scully retired from broadcasting upon the conclusion of the 2016 season after an unparalleled 67-year career of calling Dodger games. As for Buck, who worked with FOX broadcast partner John Smoltz for the last three seasons, he has made similar offers in the past, inviting Scully to come out of retirement to share the booth with him during All-Star games and the World Series.

Regardless though, it appears Scully has stepped away from the announcing game for good (though he recently was making headlines for other reasons).

Andrew Wiggins speaks positively about Jimmy Butler

The Jimmy Butler circus continues to roll on, but Minnesota Timberwolves teammate Andrew Wiggins is doing what he can to thaw the tensions.

Speaking with reporters on Sunday, Wiggins spoke positively about his fellow swingman, saying that Butler was “someone you want on your team.” Here is the full quote that he gave, per Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press:

Wiggins, along with the similarly-aged Karl-Anthony Towns, has been a main object of Butler’s scorn for quite some time now. Things came to a head with the four-time All-Star’s trade request earlier this offseason and subsequent outburst at Wolves practice where he challenged Wiggins and many others.

Butler now appears to be trending towards suiting up for Minnesota during Wednesday’s season opener against San Antonio, so this could be just Wiggins trying to make the best of a sticky situation with no apparent end in sight.

Report: Ryan Tannehill has sprained AC joint

Ryan Tannehill

As the Miami Dolphins look to stop a two-game losing streak, the health of their starting quarterback is now causing some uncertainty.

Ethan Skolnick of Dolphin Maven reported on Saturday that Dolphins signal caller Ryan Tannehill is dealing with multiple injuries, including a sprained AC joint. He also adds that Miami is planning to allow Tannehill, who is officially listed as questionable, to warm up for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears but has “serious concern” about his ultimate ability to play.

Skolnick also cites reporting from 3 Yards Per Carry’s Chris Kouffman, who said earlier this week that Tannehill appeared to hurt the shoulder in a Week 3 win over the Oakland Raiders.

The Dolphins are 3-2 on the season with Tannehill throwing for 972 yards and eight touchdowns to five interceptions. The veteran was a big disappointment in a Week 5 loss to Cincinnati however. Brock Osweiler will next in line on the Miami depth chart if Tannehill cannot play on Sunday.

Brewers’ Jeffress thinks Dodgers were ‘lucky’ in scoring off him

Milwaukee Brewers logo

After taking the loss in NLCS Game 2 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jeremy Jeffress had some interesting things to say about the poor outing.

The Milwaukee Brewers reliever entered Saturday’s game with a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning. He then proceeded to allow three runs to score (one on a bases-loaded walk to Austin Barnes and two an inning later on a go-ahead home run by Justin Turner) to give the Dodgers the ultimate 4-3 victory. After the game, Jeffress said that he thought the NL West winners were “lucky” in the runs that they scored off him, according to Joe Trezza of MLB.com.

The 31-year-old Jeffress had been fairly unhittable otherwise — he posted a microscopic 1.29 ERA on the season, good enough not only to make the All-Star team but also to cement himself as a featured attraction of Milwaukee’s vaunted bullpen.

Jeffress’ excellence was a major driving force behind the Brewers’ unique strategy of deploying their pitchers, but they may now have to rethink that approach if they are to bounce back and win the series, luck notwithstanding.

Kevin Durant hilariously trolls himself with snake joke

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is well aware of one of the more popular insults lobbed his way.

In a post to their Instagram page on Tuesday, Barstool Sports shared a rather harrowing video of a large snake slithering across a golf green.

Shortly thereafter, Durant showed up in the comments section of the post, hilariously writing, “My bad, lemme get out your way.”

“Snake” has been something of the taunt of choice used against Durant ever since he signed with the Golden State Warriors back in 2016. With two titles and two Finals MVPs to show for it since though, the star forward can afford to have a little bit of fun with the slight.

You may also recall that Durant made another notable snake reference when he let loose on his critics with his signature sneaker last year.

Watch: Mookie Betts nails reporter with cork during celebration

Mookie Betts is enjoying a career year in 2018, but he may still have some improving to do in other aspects.

Betts and the Boston Red Sox advanced to the ALCS with a 4-3 victory over the rival New York Yankees on Tuesday. After the win, the All-Star outfielder appeared on camera with NESN’s Guerin Austin as the team was celebrating in the locker room. As Betts attempted to pop open a bottle of champagne in the middle of a JD Martinez interview, he accidentally nailed Austin with the cork. Take a look:

The Red Sox now advance to play the defending champion Houston Astros in the ALCS, and they will be hoping for another opportunity or two to celebrate in the locker room. Betts should probably leave the bottle-popping to someone else next time though, but at least the mishap didn’t detract from the otherwise festive scene in the Sox locker room on Tuesday.

Yasiel Puig predicts Dodgers will sweep Brewers in NLCS

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig is calling his shot ahead of the National League Championship Series.

After his Los Angeles Dodgers advanced to their third straight NLCS with a 6-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Monday, the star outfielder delivered a bold prediction about the team’s upcoming series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Puig was being interviewed by MLB Network amid a celebration in the locker room when he stated that the Dodgers would not only beat the Brewers but do so in four games to boot. He then went on to declare that the Dodgers would also win the World Series. Take a look:

While there may have been an inebriation factor in play here, it’s still a pretty hot take from the former All-Star Puig. The Brewers just swept their NLDS series against the Colorado Rockies and have not lost a game since Sept. 22, adding up to a total of 11 consecutive victories.

But as for the reason why Puig feels so confident in his team’s chances this postseason, we probably have a good idea.

Watch: Steve Kerr has hilarious reaction to preseason ejection

Steve Kerr

It may only be the NBA preseason, but Steve Kerr is already getting tossed like it’s the real thing.

The Golden State Warriors head coach was ejected from Monday’s exhibition contest against the Phoenix Suns in the third quarter after arguing an illegal screen that was called on Stephen Curry. Kerr was quickly rung up for two technical fouls by referee Ben Taylor and hilariously responded by saying, “I didn’t want to be here anyway” and waving at Taylor sarcastically. Take a look:

The back-to-back defending champions don’t officially kick off the year until Oct. 16, but it’s good to see that Coach Kerr is already in midseason form.

Still, this wasn’t quite as good as the last time he made waves for an ejection.