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Saturday, October 21, 2017

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Report: Nationals interested in Alex Cora as manager

The Washington Nationals have reportedly registered their interest in the offseason’s hottest managerial candidate.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported Saturday that the Nationals intend to seek an interview with Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora once the ALCS concludes Saturday night.

Cora has been linked to every single available job this offseason, despite his lack of managerial experience. It would certainly be a gamble for the win-now Nationals to turn things over to someone with minimal experience. However, they may be forced to look elsewhere, as some reports have indicated that Cora already has a managerial job lined up and Washington may wind up being too late.

Marshawn Lynch appeals one-game suspension

Marshawn Lynch referee

Marshawn Lynch has appealed the one-game suspension he received from the league office on Friday, according to a report.

The NFL announced on Friday that Lynch had been suspended one game without pay for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the Raiders’ Thursday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Lynch ran onto the field from the sidelines during a skirmish between the two sides and shoved an official. Making contact with an official is prohibited.

Players have three business days to appeal a suspension should they choose to exercise that right. ESPN’s Adam Schefter says Lynch already has done so.

Former NFL players Derrick Brooks or James Thrash are the ones who hear suspension appeals.

Lynch is having a poor season for the Raiders and has hardly made an impact. Acquired by the team after taking off the 2016 season, Lynch has just 266 rushing yards on 72 carries, which is 3.7 average — his lowest since 2010.

Magic F Jonathan Isaac was so nervous to make NBA debut he forgot to put on jersey

Jonathan Isaac may have had some slight butterflies prior to making his NBA debut on Wednesday against the Miami Heat.

In a video shared to Twitter by Orlando Magic teammate Bismack Biyombo on Friday, the rookie forward sat on the bench for the team’s season opener having forgotten to wear a jersey underneath his warmups. He quickly ran to the locker room to put one on upon realizing his mistake.

The 20-year-old Isaac, who was picked No. 6 overall in this year’s draft, would eventually check in at the 3:10 mark of the first quarter. He finished with a respectable four points, eight rebounds, and two blocks in 17 minutes on the evening as the Magic picked up the 116-109 victory.

We’ve seen some similar mishaps in baseball before, but in any case, at least Isaac now has a heck of a story to tell about his professional debut.

Image via Around the Association on YouTube

Premier League Best 11 of the season so far

Kevin De Bruyne

The Premier League season still has a long way to go, but we are a little over a fifth of the way through the 2017-18 season. With about two months in the books, we now have an idea of who the league’s elite players and teams will be this season.

With that in mind, we’re putting together a Best 11 to represent the team of the season so far. Unfortunately, there are a few deserving players who will be absent — Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Morata just miss the cut at striker, for instance, due to the dominance of those just above them. But this is still a good look at just who’s performing well in the young season so far.

Take a look, with a particular emphasis on players from three teams who have performed at the top of their games so far.

GK — David De Gea, Manchester United

De Gea has been the best goalkeeper in England for some time now, and he continues to offer plenty of evidence as to why. His performance against Liverpool — including an unbelievable save to deny Joel Matip from close range — was basically the only reason United salvaged a point in the match. De Gea is an elite shot-stopper and kept seven clean sheets in eight appearances so far, making 20 saves and conceding just twice. He’s setting the standard once again.

RB — Kyle Walker, Manchester City

In his first season with Manchester City, Walker is fitting in seamlessly, and his arrival is a big part of the reason the team’s attack has been so much more fluid this season. He’s already put in three assists in seven matches — an impressive sum. His ability to get up and down the pitch is something that last season’s right backs — Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta — simply couldn’t offer. He’s been sound defensively, too, with a controversial red card against Everton the only real blemish on his season.

(more…)

LaVar Ball fires back at Patrick Beverley: ‘He didn’t do nothing’

Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley made life very difficult for Lonzo Ball in the rookie’s first NBA game Thursday night, but Lonzo’s father is not going to let that deter him from continuing to talk endless amounts of trash.

With Beverley covering him most of the night, Lonzo Ball was just 1-of-6 from the field and finished with three points, four assists and nine rebounds. Beverley got in Ball’s face all night and threw some shots at him after the Clippers’ 108-92 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, but LaVar Ball was not impressed.

“Yeah, you shut the m—–f—– down,” the elder Ball told ESPN. “And your check still ain’t going to go no higher than what it is. Yeah, you shut him down. OK … Who is Patrick Beverley? He played all last year and nobody said nothing about him. Now we are looking at your first game. Why? Because Lonzo’s name is attached to it.

“So you got to be [all hard]. Let’s see what you do the next five games, if you are going to be pumped up towards everybody like that and go back to your 0-for-5 shooting and your two or three rebounds. Nobody is going to care about you. But you put my son’s name in it and you put my name in it, now you got some action and you got some people talking.”

To his credit, Lonzo praised Beverley after the game, saying the veteran “knows his job” and “does it very well.” Those comments came after Beverley blatantly taunted him on one or two plays.

But, as has always been the case, LaVar Ball refused to give credit where credit was due.

“Beverley is going to test [people],” he said. “He didn’t do nothing. But it is a better story. Lonzo don’t even care about Beverley. You never care about Lonzo versus Westbrook, Lonzo versus Harden, Lonzo versus Beverley. Who cares? It is a team game.”

Lonzo knows he is going to have a target on his back all year, and his father has a lot to do with that. He’s going to bring out the best in opposing defenders most nights, which won’t make life easy for him as a rookie in the NBA.

Marshawn Lynch watches rest of Raiders game from stands

Marshawn Lynch referee

Marshawn Lynch did leave the Oakland Raiders’ locker room after being ejected from Thursday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he did stick around — as a fan.

First KRON’s Henry Wofford reported that Lynch had left the locker room and was headed to his car after his ejection. CBS’ Tracy Wolfson later confirmed that Lynch had left.

However, Marcus Thompson said that Lynch did not leave the stadium, and that he actually went to watch the game from the stands.

Lynch was then in the tunnel watching his team score the game-winning touchdown in a 31-30 comeback victory over Kansas City.

Lynch had just two carries for nine yards in the game. He can probably expect discipline from both the league and team for his conduct with the official and after his ejection.

Clayton Kershaw ‘at a loss for words’ after reaching first World Series

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw was emotionally struck upon reaching the first World Series of his career.

Often considered the best pitcher in baseball over the past decade, Kershaw had never reached the Fall Classic despite helping the Dodgers to the postseason six previous times. On his seventh playoff berth, the Dodgers finally broke through and reached the World Series.

Kershaw was asked about that during an interview with TBS reporter Sam Ryan after the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in Game 5 of the NLCS to advance.

“It feels good to hear World Series,” Kershaw told Ryan after Game 5. “It’s been a long time coming for this team. I’m kind of at a loss for words right now. I never thought in a million years I’d get to play in a World Series. I know we’ve got four more to go, but right now, it’s tough to sink in.”

Ryan then asked what makes this team different from past Dodgers teams that did well in the regular season but couldn’t make the playoffs.

“I don’t know how to compare it to year’s past, but I just know that everybody has a role and everybody executes. It just seems like there’s a different guy every night. It’s unbelievable. It’s a special group to be a part of.”

Kershaw continues to shake his reputation for being a choker in the playoffs. He allowed just one run on three hits over six innings to get the win. It was his second win this postseason, while the Dodgers have won all three games he’s pitched this postseason.

Game 1 of the World Series is on Tuesday.

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