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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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NFL will not suspend Tyreek Hill following child abuse investigation

Tyreek Hill

Tyreek Hill avoided legal trouble stemming from the child abuse investigation he was at the center of this offseason, and he will not be disciplined by the NFL, either.

The NFL announced in a statement on Friday that a thorough investigation into the claims against Hill found no evidence that the Kansas City Chiefs star violated the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. As a result, Hill is free to report to the Chiefs and take part in all team activities going forward.

The statement noted that the court proceedings are confidential and all law enforcement documents have been sealed, and Hill could be subject to discipline in the future if new evidence surfaces.

Hill met with the NFL last month and reportedly provided a significant amount of evidence supporting the claim that he had nothing to do with his 3-year-old son suffering a broken arm. Despite an audio recording that suggested he was responsible for the boy’s injuries, police are said to have determined that Hill was not. The NFL’s investigation must have come to the same conclusion.

Madison Bumgarner does not seem like he wants a trade

Madison Bumgarner

The San Francisco Giants came alive before the All-Star break and have carried the momentum into the second half of the season, and suddenly they have found themselves in the playoff hunt. While his name has frequently been mentioned in trade rumors, Madison Bumgarner sounds like he wants to see it through.

Bumgarner allowed just five hits and one run in nine innings on Thursday night, and the Giants beat the New York Mets 3-2 in a 16-inning game. The win was San Francisco’s sixth in a row and 12th in their last 14. When asked about the trade rumors after the game, Bumgarner sent a clear message.

There have been reports of several contenders being interested in trading for Bumgarner, but the left-hander can block a trade to eight teams. While the Giants are not going to catch the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, they are now just 2.5 games out of a wild card spot. The playoffs are a legitimate possibility.

Bumgarner has spent his entire career in San Francisco and helped the Giants win three championships, so you can understand why he might not want to leave. With the team now creeping back into contention, there will be even tougher decisions to make at the trade deadline.

Dodgers manager: Hector Neris’ staredown was ‘unacceptable’

Dave Roberts

Hector Neris was finally able to close out a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night, but the Philadelphia Phillies reliever ruffled some feathers with the way he stared into the visiting dugout after the game. Dave Roberts was among those who did not appreciate it.

Neris, who blew a save in the Phillies’ win on Tuesday night, entered the ninth with a 7-5 lead. He allowed a two-out home run to Alex Verdugo but got Justin Turner to fly out to end the game. He then shouted an obscenity and stared into the LA dugout. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called the behavior “unacceptable.”

The players obviously agreed with Roberts, as evidenced by their reaction to Neris’ antics.

Neris, who admitted after the game that his emotions got the best of him, has struggled mightily against the Dodgers. He’s currently appealing a three-game suspension that he received for hitting David Freese with a pitch on Tuesday night, which he appeared to do because he was upset about surrendering a homer to Matt Beatty. You can understand why the Dodgers were irritated that he stared into their dugout, especially since they have owned him overall.

Look: Bryce Harper sported a Phillie Phanatic bandanna

Bryce Harper Phillie Phanatic

Bryce Harper continues to show his affection toward the Philadelphia Phillies’ iconic mascot.

During his first game with the Phillies, Harper wore cleats that had the Phillie Phanatic’s face on it.

A few months later, he was back at it.

During the Phillies’ game on Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Harper wore a bandanna that featured the Phanatic’s huge eyes on it. It looked funny seeing him with a second set of eyes:

Harper went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. He had three multi-hit games and 7 RBIs in the four-game series against the Dodgers.

LeBron James shows how son Bronny will have team-first attitude

LeBron Bronny James

LeBron James answered a question about his son Bronny’s freshman basketball season and gave a glimpse into what kind of values he’s preaching for his son on the court.

MaxPreps, a site that covers high school sports, wrote an article asking what kind of role we can expect Bronny to have at Sierra Canyon this winter. Keep in mind that Bronny is not yet even a high school; this is an incoming freshman they wrote about!

While the youngster is dealing with unfair questions of that nature, LeBron decided to speak out on his behalf, answering the tweet/question via Twitter.

“Expect a kid that will play for his teammates,” LeBron said of Bronny. “Will work hard, pay his dues and when his number is called he’ll make mistakes like any kid but will be ready and coached very well. Someone who doesn’t care about rankings cause the only thing that matters is his team success.”

How can you argue with that approach? He’s instilling a patient, hard-working, team-first attitude with his son. That’s the exact opposite of the criticisms we’ve heard about the AAU culture in basketball.

Some may want to call Bronny spoiled or entitled simply due to who his father is, but it seems like LeBron is trying to give his son guidelines to avoid making himself a target for such remarks. The approach is admirable.

Aaron Boone’s ‘savages’ comment catching on with Yankees

Aaron Boone umpire

Aaron Boone’s rant at an umpire during and after an ejection on Thursday went viral, with one particular comment catching on.

Boone was ejected from the first game of a doubleheader between his New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays for arguing about umpire Brennan Miller’s strike zone. After being tossed by Miller, Boone ran onto the field to let the umpire have it.

“My guys are f—ing savages inside that f—ing box,” Boone told Miller.

Boone then repeated the “savages in the box” remark a few more times.

The quote was so catchy that it’s been put on T-shirts already. Yankees first baseman Luke Voit said he is a fan of it.

“He’s been calling us savages all year,” Voit said. “We’ve had that mentality since spring training and it’s pretty cool. Not a lot of coaches would use that type of word but I think we appreciate it. We are a bunch of savages.”

The Yankees were all-in on savages and were playing some savage-related music in between games.

Get ready for “savages” to become the rallying cry for the 2019 Yankees.

Dan Le Batard decries Donald Trump’s ‘send her back’ attacks, ESPN’s no politics policy

Dan Le Batard

Dan Le Batard spoke out on Thursday against Donald Trump’s “send her back” attacks, simultaneously criticizing ESPN’s no politics policy.

Le Batard made his comments on his “Dan Le Batard Show”, which is broadcast on 790 The Ticket in Miami, syndicated on ESPN Radio, and simulcast on ESPNEWS. He explained what was so problematic and troubling about Trump’s comments, and why it is so important to speak out.

As Le Batard referenced, ESPN’s new president Jimmy Pitaro has made it clear that employees must avoid all political talk. Under previous president John Skipper, former ESPN host Jemele Hill received a suspension for anti-Trump comments she made on Twitter — ones that drew attention from the White House. There was a national perception among some viewers that ESPN had taken a left-leaning political stance, which left a faction of viewers alienated. That’s why Pitaro instituted the policy.

Le Batard decided that the comments made by the president were so bad that he had to step up and say something, regardless of the punishment he might face. He’s right — there is no place in the country for such rhetoric.

The remarks coming from the man holding the most powerful and respected leadership position in the country makes them especially problematic and unacceptable. Such remarks create division in the country instead of unity and encourage others to follow his lead. Don’t believe us? We received a comment on one of our stories Thursday telling Manny Machado to “go play in [his] native country.” Where did that word choice and line of thinking come from if not from Trump? And just to show you how awful that line of thinking is, Machado is American and from Florida.

Watch: Dad has priceless reaction to son throwing back home run ball

Astros fan home run ball

One father attending Thursday’s Los Angeles Angels-Houston Astros game in Anaheim got his son quite the souvenir, though it did not go the way he had hoped.

Alex Bregman smacked a home run to left field in the fifth inning to make it 6-0 Houston. The man got the home run ball and gave it to the boy, who then threw it towards the field. The father couldn’t believe it.

The Angels telecast later showed an usher returning to the seats and giving the boy a talk before handing him a ball. He did not throw it back this time.

Max Muncy apologized for spiking Rhys Hoskins

Max Muncy

Max Muncy has done his part to make it clear he did not intentionally spike Rhys Hoskins during a play at first base.

During Thursday’s game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers, Muncy stepped on the heel of Hoskins as he crossed first base. While some called it a dirty play, Muncy said after the game that he immediately apologized for the step. Replays also show Muncy turning around and gesturing as if to apologize immediately after spiking the Phillies first baseman.

While this may have rubbed some Phillies players the wrong way, the Dodgers had their turn to be upset later in the game. After Hector Neris recorded the save, Dodgers players took exception to the Phillies closer staring into their dugout.

Report: Celtics were bothered with Al Horford tampering

Al Horford

The Boston Celtics may have known that Kyrie Irving was going to leave the team in free agency, but they may have been more or less blindsided to learn that Al Horford was leaving too. And the Celtics reportedly were not happy with the apparent tampering that went on with the big man.

Speaking on his “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective Show” podcast that was published on Thursday, Windhorst said he was told the Celtics were bothered by the tampering surrounding Horford.

“Celtics were, from what I am told, one of the teams that kind of stomped their feet about what they felt was tampering. Not with Kyrie … but with (Al) Horford. What happened with Horford, from what I am told, really upset the Celtics. They were thinking that they were going to be able to negotiate with him, talk to him about a new contract, and all of a sudden it was like he already knew what his market was like and was out of there,” Windhorst said.

Word came out on June 18, nearly two weeks before the start of free agency, that Horford would not be returning to Boston because he had found a four-year contract elsewhere. Horford knowing prior to the start of free agency that he had a better offer than what Boston was offering is a clear sign there was tampering. But as the show hosts all pointed out, it seems inconsistent for Boston to complain about it in one instance and then benefit from it in another.

Recall that the Celtics were reported on June 25 and again two days later to be the leaders for Kemba Walker even though free agency still hadn’t begun. How would that information have gotten out if there weren’t some sort of tampering?

You can’t be OK with tampering when it benefits you and complain about it when it doesn’t. If anything, the Celtics just seem bitter that Horford left because it put them in a bad spot where they couldn’t recover. Celtics GM Danny Ainge seemed to make his anger clear when he complained on the radio about Horford leaving for a rival.