Either Trevor Bauer is experimenting with a new combat training system (and with him, you can never rule out anything), or he came prepared for the Indians’ series with the Kansas City Royals Monday.
Bauer, who is scheduled to start in Tuesday’s game, was shown in the dugout with some Everlast boxing gloves on his hands at the beginning of the game. We’re guessing this was a nod to Kansas City’s recent penchant for starting fights with opponents.
Way to keep the mood light, Bauer. Though, if the Indians and Royals get into it, maybe rap master T could put out a diss track and make it all worth it.
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- Trevor Bauer
Monday’s game between the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox has been postponed amid the riots in the Maryland city, the team announced.
After consultation with Baltimore City Police Department, tonight’s game between the Orioles & White Sox at Oriole Park has been postponed.
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 27, 2015
An announcement regarding a make-up date will be made asap. Fans are encouraged to keep their tickets & parking until more info is available
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 27, 2015
Protesters gathered Saturday in response to the Freddie Gray case and tried to get that game canceled. On Monday, people gathered and began looting stores and getting into it with the police. The state declared the situation a national emergency and activated the Maryland National Guard.
Monday’s movement seemed to be activated via students on social media.
— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) April 27, 2015
- Baltimore Orioles
The Raptors won the Atlantic Division with a 49-33 record during the regular season and were seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference. Still, they lost Game 1 of their playoff series at home to the Wizards in overtime and then ended up swept out of the playoffs.
Following the disappointing showing, Lowry was clearly frustrated and said changes need to be made.
“There’s a lot of things you can say (publicly), but there’s a lot of things internally that probably need to be fixed,” Lowry said via the Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk.
He was also asked about the status of head coach Dwane Casey and did not use the opportunity to completely endorse the man.
“I respect Case as a man … It’s not my decision. At the end of the day, if he’s the coach, I’m a player,” he said via Feschuk.
Though Lowry didn’t completely endorse Casey, many other Raptors players did.
DeMar Derozan, Amir Johnson and Lou Williams all were complimentary of Casey:
DeRozan: "I know Case gets a lot of flack. Case is a great coach. I've got to give him credit. He pushes day in and day out."
— Dave Feschuk (@dfeschuk) April 27, 2015
Amir on Casey: "He gets better and better as the years go by as a coach"
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) April 27, 2015
Lou Will on Casey: "He’s a motivational coach. He really gets guys going, just as far as getting guys fired up. He’s a very passionate guy."
— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) April 27, 2015
Despite questions about his job status, Casey said he expects to return as head coach next season.
“I expect to be back … our staff did a heckuva job working with the players every day. We have nothing to be ashamed of,” Casey said via SportsNet’s Michael Grange.
Casey also said there is nothing bad between him and Lowry.
“Kyle and I are family, you have good times and bad times … there is no animosity or bad feelings in our relationship,” he said via Grange.
Though the Raptors have lost in the first round of the playoffs two years in a row, they have improved each regular season under Casey. They have become one of the better teams in the conference under his leadership and should probably give him another season before re-evaluating. Plus, with Masai Ujiri in charge of the roster, they’ll probably have a few new players to help push them over the top.
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While Jameis Winston appears to be a lock to go No. 1 overall in the NFL draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there is less certainty about what will happen with Marcus Mariota.
It is widely accepted that Mariota is the No. 2 quarterback prospect and will likely go in the top 10, possibly as high as No. 2 overall to Tennessee. In fact, The Monday Morning Quarterback’s Peter King says the Titans have been doing a lot of homework on the former Oregon QB.
The Titans were all over Mariota all through the college season, and beyond. One Oregon source told me the Tennessee scouts were the most fervent of all teams during and after the season investigating Mariota. The one thing the Titans feel very good about: Though Mariota has a reputation of being a running quarterback who would have a tough time adjusting to life as an NFL pocket passer, they saw that the majority of his throws this year came from the pocket, without a lot of movement before the throw.
The team that has been tied to the Titans the most in trade talks has been the Chargers, but King says he does not think San Diego wants to trade Philip Rivers, which they would have to do to move up in the trade. Because of that, he thinks Tennessee is going to end up drafting Mariota second. This runs contrary to previous reports that said the Chargers would be willing to trade Rivers for the No. 2 pick/Mariota. Maybe they are willing to do so, but they do not want to do it.
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The Cleveland Browns appear to be interested in moving up in the draft, possibly to take a quarterback.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Browns had conversations with the Redskins about potentially moving up to No. 5 in Thursday’s draft. Rapoport adds that the Browns have had talks with most of the teams in the top 10.
This report should not be surprising for those following things. A report earlier this month said the Browns have almost completely moved on from Johnny Manziel, whom they drafted in the first round last year. Shortly thereafter there was chatter that they have legitimate interest in moving up to draft Marcus Mariota.
The Bucs are widely expected to take Jameis Winston first overall, while the Jags and Raiders (picking at Nos. 3 and 4) already have quarterbacks. That leaves the Titans and their No. 2 spot as the only question mark and potential spot that would block Mariota from being available at No. 5. With Washington committing to RG3 for this year and next, trading up with them or Tennessee would probably be the best way to get Mariota.
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- Cleveland Browns
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is facing a felony charge after he was allegedly involved in a hit and run in Albuquerque, N.M., early Sunday morning.
Initially, it appeared that Jones would be facing a misdemeanor even if it was determined that he was the man who fled the scene of the accident. However, the 25-year-old pregnant woman who was driving the car that Jones allegedly struck suffered a broken arm. Albuquerque Police Department spokesperson Tanner Tixier confirmed to Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com that the injury makes the crime a felony.
“The preliminary statement that the woman suffered ‘non-serious’ injury was not entirely accurate,” Tixier said. “She did suffer a broken arm. That is confirmed.”
A warrant was issued for Jones’ arrest on Monday afternoon, and police were waiting for him to turn himself in to be charged with leaving the scene of a crime, which could result in jail time.
Witnesses — including an off-duty police officer — reportedly saw Jones leaving the scene of the accident on foot and jumping a fence. Police say they found marijuana and a pipe in the car, which had paperwork inside of it indicating it had been rented to Jones.
This is a horrible look for Jones, who has been in the news multiple times over the past year for the wrong reasons. He is scheduled to fight Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 on May 23, but it seems highly unlikely that the fight will take place. UFC released a statement on Jones’ alleged involvement in the hit and run on Sunday night.
“We are aware that the Albuquerque Police Department is interested in speaking to Jon Jones regarding his possible involvement in a motor vehicle accident,” the statement read. “We are in the process of gathering facts and will reserve further comment until more information is available.”
It came out in January that Jones tested positive for cocaine prior to his fight against Daniel Cormier, which led to Jones spending a day in a rehab facility. He was also arrested for DWI in New York three years ago.
- Jon Jones
Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling turned 81 on Sunday. Can you guess who wished him a very public and seemingly heartfelt happy birthday? V. Stiviano, of course.
Stiviano, who is Sterling’s girlfriend/mistress/whistleblower/whatever else, wrote a lengthy message on Instagram praising her “mentor” and “BFF.”
“It’s official BFF’s forever,” she wrote. “It happens like this. ‘One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else – closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps this person carries within them an angel – one sent to you for some higher purpose; to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them – even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering – the reason for their presence will become clear in due time.’
“Though here is a word of warning – you may grow to love this person but remember they are not yours to keep. Their purpose isn’t to save you but to show you how to save yourself. And once this is fulfilled; the halo lifts and the angel leaves their body as the person exits your life. They will be a stranger to you once more.
“My mentor is my partner in crime, today is a day of celebration and trouble making for this best friend duo. The beginning of something great: another year with you. Our friendship is made of gold and it will stay solid for ever. I love you with all my heart. Happy Birthday Donald T. Sterling from the one and only your #ANGEL
Surprised? Neither are we. If you remember, Stiviano is the one who baited Sterling when he was caught on an audio recording making incredibly racist remarks. Her relationship with Sterling has always been bizarre, as she once hinted that she has a child with Sterling but later told people she believes he is gay. More recently, Stiviano said she never once had sexual relations with Sterling.
Earlier this month, a judge ruled that Stiviano owes Sterling’s wife Shelley $2.6 million that Donald had spent on Stiviano in the form of cash and lavish gifts. Sterling reportedly referred to Stiviano as his “ex-friend” while the lawsuit was being sorted out.
We can’t even keep track anymore — not that we ever could in the first place.
H/T Arash Markazi
Cleveland Cavaliers swingman J.R. Smith is in danger of missing at least the first game of his team’s second-round playoff series against either the Chicago Bulls or Milwaukee Bucks after he was ejected on Sunday for nailing an opponent in the face. Charles Barkley feels Smith should be out a lot longer than that.
After watching the replay of Smith clubbing Celtics forward Jae Crowder, Barkley said on “Inside the NBA” that the punishment should be at least a 10-game suspension.
“I want to see what happened to Jae Crowder, first of all,” Barkley said. “They say he has a sprained knee. If it’s more than a sprained knee, I’ve got to throw the book at (Smith), to be honest with you. I hope it’s only a sprain. I thought he blew out his ACL or something, the way he went down on it.
“If it’s just a sprain, I’ve just got to look at the punch, and I might have to suspend him for 10 games. You can’t punch people in the head. He punched a guy in the head.”
Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal, Barkley’s TNT colleagues, said they would suspend Smith for five games.
It would be shocking at this point if Smith isn’t suspended for at least a game. A 10-game suspension would guarantee that he misses the entire next series and could keep him out through the Eastern Conference Finals, so it’s doubtful the NBA will come down that hard. Still, you can’t swing your arm this recklessly and expect a slap on the wrist.
Video via Sports Grid
There’s a special place in sports for those who enjoy and embrace the villain role. Paul Pierce is currently doing just that for the Wizards.
Prior to the Wizards’ first round playoff series against the Raptors, Pierce mentioned during an interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan that he didn’t think the Raptors had the “it” factor that makes opposing teams worry. Naturally, this didn’t sit well in Toronto and even led to the team’s general manager fined after he responded to Pierce’s comments with an expletive during a crowd rally ahead of game one of the series. Then, in game one, Pierce went out and scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Wizards to series-opening victory.
Washington completed their four-game sweep of Toronto on Sunday. Afterward, Pierce was certainly in the mood to rub it in. The veteran posted the above photo to his Facebook page showing rapper (and avid Raptors fan) Drake wearing a photoshopped Paul Pierce Wizards jersey along with the words “If You’re Reading This The Wizards Just Swept” which is a play on Drake’s latest album entitled “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.”
However, Pierce wasn’t done there. He also posted this photo of himself sitting on the throne that has become synonymous with HBO’s “Game Of Thrones” with the caption “King in the North.”
The Wizards brought Paul Pierce in for this time of year and he is certainly making an impact, both on and off the court.
Photos via: Facebook/PaulPierce
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- Paul Pierce
Police reportedly found marijuana inside a rental car that was registered to Jon Jones shortly after the car was involved in a hit and run on Sunday morning in Albuquerque, N.M.
According to a police report obtained by TMZ, an off-duty police officer and other witnesses saw a man flee the scene of the crash on foot. The witnesses believe the man was Jones, and they say they saw the UFC light heavyweight champion run back to the silver Buick to grab a “large handful of cash” before hopping a nearby fence and taking off.
The man officers believe to be Jones reportedly ran a red light and slammed into a pregnant woman’s car. She was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries after she told responders she felt like she might pass out.
Police say they found marijuana and a marijuana pipe inside the car in addition to paperwork that had Jones’ name on it.
Police have been unable to reach Jones, who was upgraded from a person of interest to a suspect late Sunday night. As we mentioned earlier, there is proof that Jones was in Albuquerque on Saturday night watching UFC 186 at a restaurant with another fighter.