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Miguel Cabrera declines playoff bonus money

Miguel CabreraWith Major League Baseball’s playoffs here, the focus from here on out is getting to (and winning) the World Series.

There’s also the formality of the shares of playoff money teams receive for their participation in the postseason. Players must sign a form to receive their piece of the pie.

This year, Miguel Cabrera isn’t interested in the money.

Ahead of the Detroit Tigers’ division series against the Baltimore Orioles, Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer was making his way through the locker room with the forms for players to sign when he arrived at Cabrera’s locker. Last season’s American League MVP made it known he was going to pass this time around.

“I’m not signing anything,” Cabrera told Scherzer via USA Today, who also notes Cabrera later told teammate Victor Martinez that he “just wants the ring.”

This will be the Tigers’ fourth consecutive season in the playoffs with the previous three ending in the American League Championship Series (twice) and a sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.

General manager Dave Dombrowski signaled his intent to bring a championship to Detroit this time around by trading for David Price at the trade deadline to bolster and already impressive starting rotation. It sounds like Miguel Cabrera is as focused as ever to do his part to help the cause.

H/T Eye On Baseball

Kobe Bryant wore ‘Ringsssss’ shirt to practice

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Kobe Bryant has a near countless amount of accolades worthy of bragging about from what will be a Hall of Fame career when he calls it quits. Among them are the five NBA championships he’s won.

With this in mind, it’s fitting (and pretty fantastic) that Bryant showed up to Lakers practice on Tuesday wearing a Nike shirt with “RINGSSSSS” on the front. There’s, of course, one S for each Larry O’Brien Trophy he’s hoisted. Add the Black Mamba logo that appears on his signature sneakers and you have brilliance.

Oh, and could Kobe’s pose and facial expression be more perfect while wearing that shirt? I mean, just look at him.

Photo: Instagram/lakersscene

Empire State Building lit in pinstripes to honor Derek Jeter

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Derek Jeter’s 20-year Major League Baseball career came to an end Sunday after collecting his 3,465th hit during the third inning of the Yankees’ game against the Boston Red Sox.

The surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer has, of course, spent the entirety of his career with the Yankees, so it’s only fitting he would be honored by one of New York’s greatest landmarks. Sunday night and Monday night, the tower lights of the Empire State Building will shine in Yankee pinstripes to commemorate Derek Jeter.

There aren’t many things they say New York quite like the Empire State Building. After 20 seasons full of accolades and championships, Derek Jeter’s name will be among the first spoken when anyone mentions great New York Yankees. A fitting tribute, indeed.

Photo: Twitter/EmpireStateBldg

Steven Souza makes incredible catch for final out of Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter (Video)

In his final start of the regular season, Jordan Zimmermann was brilliant. However, he wasn’t the only member of the Washington Nationals who impressed on the afternoon.

steven-souza-diving-catchWith two outs in the top of the ninth, Christian Yelich hit a pitch by Zimmermann to the gap in left-center that looked like a sure extra-base hit. Playing in only his fourth game in left field for Washington, Steven Souza tracked down the ball and left his feet to make an incredible diving catch to record the final out of the game and give Jordan Zimmermann the first no-hitter in Nationals history.

Zimmermann struck out 10 and walked one on the way to the victory. He needed just 104 pitches to retire the 28 batters he faced.

What a way to end a game. What a way to end a regular season for the team whose 96 wins are most in the National League. Bryce Harper agrees.

Steve Smith catches tipped pass for 61-yd TD against Panthers (Video)

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The Carolina Panthers were in Baltimore for a matchup against the Ravens on Sunday and, perhaps not surprisingly, Steve Smith Sr. was a central figure.

steve-smith-td-catchIt didn’t take Smith long to make an impact against his former team. Early in the second quarter, he caught a pass from Joe Flacco that was tipped by Owen Daniels and took it for a 61-yard touchdown. With less than two minutes remaining until halftime, Smith hauled in his second score of the quarter, this time from 21-yards out.

It’s no secret Steve Smith was not pleased with the way his time in Carolina came to an end. Earlier this year, he said there would be “blood and guts everywhere” in reference to going up against his former team. Smith also called out the Panthers during the Ravens’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals in week one.

Steve Smith Sr. certainly held up his end of the talk on Sunday with five catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns in just first half.

Craig Kimbrel hilariously mocked by Phillies fans (Video)

craig-kimbrel-stanceCraig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves is one of baseball’s best closers. He also has quite the stance prior to delivering pitches. Kimbrel bends over and stares toward home plate with his right arm extended before coming set on the mound.

Kimbrel came on for the ninth inning of Saturday’s game in Philadelphia, so Phillies fans behind home plate took the opportunity to have a little fun with the four-time All-Star.

Fans of Philadelphia sports teams take a beating nationally from time-to-time, but that’s pretty great.

Kimbrel was able to convert the save without allowing a run. However, you can’t say Phillies fans didn’t try to throw him off his game.

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Ohio State coach body slams fan who ran onto field (Video)

When running onto the field of play during a game, there’s always the chance you could end up as the star of a viral video, depending on how your intrusion is handled.

Simply corralled and handcuffed would probably be the least eventful result and may not have you remembered. On the other end of the spectrum is getting body slammed by a coach, who happens to be a former linebacker.

anthony-schlegel-body-slam-fanThe latter is exactly what happened at Ohio Stadium on Saturday during the game between Ohio State and Cincinnati.

A fan decided to venture onto the field and was promptly met by Anthony Schlegel. Schlegel is currently a strength and conditioning coach for Ohio State and was an All-Big Ten performer as a player for the Buckeyes.

I’m guessing the intruder was not anticipating that. It’s highly doubtful he will forget it, though.

H/T Big Lead