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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

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Royals dealing with chickenpox outbreak

Alex-Rios

The Kansas City Royals are currently dealing with the an issue that plagues kindergarten classes across the country on a daily basis.

They have the chickenpox.

Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star reports that outfielder Alex Rios and reliever Kelvin Herrera have both been infected with the chickenpox virus and are expected to miss at least two weeks. Both players left the team over the weekend.

Royals manager Ned Yost and several players contacted their families over the weekend to find out if they had be exposed to the chickenpox virus as children. While the infection typically affects children, it can be much more severe when adults catch it. Experts say players born in Latin American countries are at a higher risk of contracting chickenpox because their chances of having received a vaccination are lower, according to the Star.

As of now, the Royals are optimistic that Rios and Herrera were the only two people in the clubhouse who were infected. However, it can take up to three weeks for symptoms to show in infected adults, so the Royals will need to monitor the situation very closely down the stretch of the regular season.

While the Royals have had players miss time under some incredibly unusual circumstances in the past, the timing of the chickenpox outbreak is far from ideal. They’re 13 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins for first place in the AL Central division, but the last thing the defending AL champs need is an infection sweeping through the clubhouse as the playoffs draw near.

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban said to be ‘frustrated’ and unhappy at Alabama

Nick Saban Alabama

Nick Saban is signed to be the football coach at Alabama through 2022, but there is no guarantee he lasts that long in Tuscaloosa. In fact, one latest speculative piece of info suggests it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Saban leave Bama before too long.

Football Scoop posted a story asking writers to make bold coaching predictions for next year. Scott Roussel, who is very plugged-in to the coaching landscape, boldly predicted that Saban would not be the Crimson Tide coach next season.

I can’t support it by reportable facts, and of course there is no pressure from the administration; but from folks in the profession, I keep hearing “Nick isn’t happy,” “Nick seems miserable,” “Nick is very frustrated,” and I can foresee the very real possibility that Nick pulls the rip cord and ejects from Tuscaloosa after this season. Where that parachute will land, well, that has to play out, but I don’t suspect T-Town will be Nick’s final coaching stop.

Saban has been visibly frustrated with Alabama’s quarterback situation, but does that mean he would leave the program? He is making at least $6.9 million per year as Bama’s head coach and guaranteed to always be one of the highest-paid coaches in the country. He has the respect financially and professionally. He has said he plans to retire at Alabama. But as we well know with him, Saban’s word is difficult to trust. The man flirted with the Texas job in 2013 but stayed in Tuscaloosa.

Would another college job intrigue him? Would he want to give the NFL one last shot? Maybe complaints he’s aired such as this have him irked and he is getting antsy. If past behavior is the best indication of future behavior, then you figure it would be time for Saban to leave. After all, he never stayed at another head coaching job for more than five seasons, and he’s now entering his ninth at Alabama.

Desean Holmes leaves San Diego State football team without explanation

Desean-Holmes

San Diego State freshman wide receiver Desean Holmes has once again gone MIA without informing anyone he was leaving.

Holmes, a four-star recruit who was one of the top recruits in San Deigo State’s incoming class, packed up and left his dorm room last week after four days of classes. Aztecs coach Rocky Long told The San Diego Union-Tribune that Holmes failed to show up for a morning weightlifting session last Friday. When a graduate assistant went to find him, his dorm room had been cleaned out.

Recruiting coordinator Tony White has spoken with a member of Holmes’ circle, but no one has heard from Holmes since before he left.

“The young man has a lot of problems, way too many for us to handle,” Long said. “Obviously, he wasn’t ready to be here.”

Holmes was a standout receiver at Bishop Alemany High. He received scholarship offers from at least 14 schools and was originally expected to compete for a starting job with San Diego State. However, he failed to show up to training camp on time earlier this summer and did not provide anyone on the team with an explanation. And now, he has disappeared yet again.

“If he can’t stay longer than a couple of days we don’t want him back,” Long said.

Holmes obviously has some serious personal issues going on. This doesn’t sound like a situation similar to the one where a famous recruit quit the UCLA football team to pursue another career path. We wish Holmes the best.

H/T Dr. Saturday
Photo via Desean Holmes/Twitter

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred denies reinstatement of Shoeless Joe Jackson

rob-manfred

They say time heals all wounds, right? After all, if Muhammad Ali could reconcile with Joe Frazier, if the Red Sox could invite Bill Buckner back to Fenway to throw out the first pitch, and if Kobe and Shaq could bury the hatchet, anything could happen, right? Well apparently not the reinstatement of Shoeless Joe Jackson by Major League Baseball.

Responding to a July letter sent by the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in South Carolina requesting the removal of Jackson’s name from the MLB’s ineligible list, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred refused to re-open the matter. Manfred mentioned that he asked his staff to research the historical record and found that “it is not possible now, over 95 years since those events took place and were considered by [then] Commissioner [Kenesaw Mountain] Landis, to be certain of the truth to overrule Commissioner Landis’ determinations.”

Manfred’s full letter, which was posted on the museum’s Facebook page late Monday, reads below:

shoeless-joe-letter

Jackson was, of course, banned from the MLB for life for his alleged role the infamous Black Sox Scandal, perhaps the greatest disgrace in the history of baseball. In it, eight players from the Chicago White Sox, including Jackson, were accused of purposefully throwing games in the 1919 World Series in exchange for money. A court found the eight men innocent, but nevertheless, Commissioner Landis still banned all of them from baseball for life.

Jackson was one of baseball’s marquee talents of the Deadball Era. His career .356 batting average ranks third all-time in MLB history. Jackson’s role in the scandal was always disputed, as in the series, he batted .375 with 12 hits, a home run, and six RBIs, all team-leading totals. He died at age 64 in 1951 and a reinstatement by Manfred would have made him eligible for the MLB Hall of Fame. But now Jackson’s now well-beyond lifetime ban looks like it will continue to live on indefinitely.

That sound you just heard was Pete Rose loudly cursing.

H/T CBS Sports

Image Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

*Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference*

Ronda Rousey confirms she was supposed to fight Gina Carano

gina-carano

Gina Carano was rumored to be considering a return to mixed martial arts last summer, and most would agree that the only reason the 33-year-old would return to the Octagon would be to fight Ronda Rousey.

Apparently that fight was pretty close to happening.

Rousey was a guest on “The Joe Rogan Experience” this week, and the UFC women’s bantamweight champion admitted that Dana White made her an offer to fight Carano last December. However, Rousey didn’t want to wait that long between fights and it never came to fruition.

It all started after Rousey defeated Sara McMann in February 2014. White wanted her next fight to be against Carano 10 months later, but Rousey felt she would be better prepared if she had another fight in the meantime.

“We get through the McMann fight and I was going to get my knee and my hand worked on, but then Dana White was like, ‘Listen, you can fight Gina in December,'” Rousey told Rogan. “And I was like, ‘I don’t want to wait until December. I’ll be a better fighter in December if I fight in July. I don’t want to sit and ring-rust for that long.'”

Rousey ended up fighting Alexis Davis in July, and she knocked her out in just 16 seconds. She probably would have been ready for another fight in December, so it’s unclear why the fight with Carano never happened. White confirmed he was in contract talks with Carano last year but said things weren’t going all that smoothly.

Carano hasn’t had a fight in over five years, and we know how at least one fighter feels about her chances against Rousey. There’s no reason to believe Carano could come in cold and beat one of the best fighters in the world, but that apparently wasn’t going to stop White from making it happen.

Tyler Seguin called out by former Maple Leafs CEO for throwing parties

Tyler Seguin girl

Tyler Seguin is, by all indications, a 23-year-old professional hockey player who likes to party. Does that make him the exception or the norm? Seguin certainly gets more attention for it than others, but is the attention warranted?

If you remember, the Boston Bruins reportedly traded Seguin two years ago because they were unhappy with his partying ways. On Tuesday morning, former Toronto Maple Leafs CEO Richard Peddie indicated that Seguin’s neighbors in Yorkville, Toronto have become annoyed with him.

Seguin has gotten a lot of credit for maturing since he was traded to the Dallas Stars, but Peddie believes Tyler’s neighbors would tell you otherwise. Seguin’s mother has defended her son against rumors that he threw “reckless” parties in team hotels, but the timing of a certain rager in Cape Cod rubbed people the wrong way.

As Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy reminds us, the Maple Leafs traded the No. 2 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft to Boston in exchange for Phil Kessel. There certainly could be some bias showing through from Peddie, who was still with Toronto at the time.

Vince Wilfork wearing nothing but overalls? You’re welcome, ladies

Vince-Wilfork-suspenders

A lot of good stuff has been happening on the latest season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” but the best episode of the series may be airing on Tuesday night.

Apparently those who tune in will be treated to Houston Texans defensive lineman Vince Wilfork wearing overalls with very little — if anything — on underneath them.

What could this possibly be about? Wilfork is entering his 12th NFL season, so there is no rookie hazing at play. Unless, of course, the Texans rookies are being hazed by having to look at their 325-pound teammate in overalls with no undershirt.

Between the overalls and the hilarious shirt he wore earlier this offseason, Wilfork appears to be having a grand ole time in Houston.

Andrew Luck tried not to watch Super Bowl, was still ‘salty’

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck tried not to watch the Super Bowl that he was one game away from playing in earlier this year, but he sort of couldn’t avoid it.

In a recent interview with ESPN’s Bob Holtzman, Luck said he only caught “a bit” of Super Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.

“I told myself I wasn’t gonna watch. I was actually on a plane, got off and was making my way somewhere and stopped to eat dinner with my girlfriend,” he explained. “It was on in the background and I couldn’t help but glance. It was right at the end. What a thrilling finish, as a fan of football, to see.”

Had Luck not seen Malcolm Butler’s incredible interception that night, there’s no way he would have avoided seeing it by now. The play has probably been shown about 12,587,846,721 times on TV stations since February.

Still, Luck admits that he didn’t want to watch the game because it stings too much.

“There’s a big part of you that’s still salty (thinking), ‘Why couldn’t we be there? Why couldn’t we have taken care of business?'” he said. “That’s sports. You win or you lose. Hopefully we can make it someday.”

If you remember, Luck dropped a fantastic joke about Deflategate when asked about losing in the AFC Championship Game back in February. He’s an incredible competitor, which is one of the reasons he is going to be hands-down the best quarterback in the NFL in the very near future. We’d be shocked if he never appeared in or won a Super Bowl.

Robert Griffin III blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing Redskins

Robert Griffin III

There was some regrettable activity on a social media account belonging to Robert Griffin III on Monday night, but the Washington Redskins quarterback insists his was not responsible for it.

At least he didn’t blame hackers.

Griffin took to Instagram early Tuesday morning explain how his Instagram handle ended up “liking” a fan’s post that trashed the Redskins and team owner Dan Snyder. RG3 says an intern who controls his Instagram account was responsible.

“I just wanted to set the record straight on this one,” he wrote. “I did not “like” that IG post ridiculing our team. I have not been social media active consistently for awhile now and am ultra-focused on working to get back on the field and trying to help this team. One of our interns who helps with Instagram liked the post. As soon as I was made aware of it, it was immediately unliked. That is not how I feel and I appreciate your understanding.”

On one hand, Griffin has only made a handful of posts on both Instagram and Twitter over the past month. On the other, it’s tough to believe an intern would be responsible for something that could potentially damage RG3’s image with the click of a button. Griffin also has a history of defending himself to fans on Instagram.

The last professional athlete who was benched over a “like” on Instagram admitted he made a mistake. Although, that particular player wasn’t accused of trashing his own team.

Fred Jackson expected to sign with Seahawks

Fred-Jackson

The Buffalo Bills made a somewhat surprising decision to release running back Fred Jackson on Monday, and they will not be bringing the 34-year-old veteran back at a cheaper price.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Jackson was scheduled to fly to Seattle on Tuesday with the expectation of signing with the Seahawks.

Jackson would likely spell Marshawn Lynch in some passing situations in Seattle’s revamped offense, which will also feature Jimmy Graham this season. It’s worth noting that Jackson and Lynch are very close friends from when they played together in Buffalo several years ago.

Jackson was in Seattle to support Lynch back in 2011 when Lynch ripped off one of the most incredible runs you will ever see in his first ever playoff game.

“Having him there was a wonderful feeling,” Lynch told Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports after that game. “Coming into the league, that was a guy who took me under his wing, showed me the ropes, showed me how to be a pro on this level. I had a tough road, and he was there every step of the way. It was my first playoff game, and he said it was like his first playoff game, too. And he said that when I scored on that run, it almost felt like he was down on the sideline running alongside me. That was big for me.”

Jackson racked up over 1,000 total yards from scrimmage (501 receiving) last year and looked like he still had plenty left in the tank. He should add another wrinkle to an already impressive Seahawks offense.

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