Atlanta Braves shortstop Ronald Acuna will bat first in the team’s game against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, just a day removed from taking a pitch to the elbow against the Miami Marlins. Marlins pitcher Jose Urena struck Acuna with a fastball in the first inning on Wednesday. That pitch was clearly deemed intentional by the umpires, who ejected Urena. Acuna didn’t finish the game, though x-rays after the contest came back negative. Acuna, 20, is hitting .288 with 19 homers, 43 RBI, 49 runs and eight stolen bases this season. He’s a crucial figure for the Braves, who are chasing the NL East title and a place in the postseason.
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Kasey Kahne will no longer race in the NASCAR Cup Series full time after the 2018 season, he announced Thursday morning. The 38-year-old Kahne has 18 career wins in 527 starts over a 15-year-career. “I’ve thought about this decision for many months, if not longer,” Kahne tweeted Thursday. “It’s time for me to step away from racing in NASCAR full time. … Racing in Cup full time for a few more years was just something that I couldn’t commit to. I’m not sure what the future holds for me, but I know I’m at ease with the decision that I have made. The highs didn’t outweigh the lows and the grueling schedule takes a toll on your quality of life.” Kahne won six races in just his third season in 2006 and finished eighth in points. His best points finish was fourth in 2012. He has won two races with 13 top-5s in the past five years. He also has eight Xfinity Series wins and five truck victories in six career starts in the series.
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The Seattle Mariners have activated second baseman Robinson Cano after his 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Cano was banned on May 15, having tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic, but is now available again and could be in line to face American League rivals the Oakland Athletics. Ahead of Cano’s activation, Seattle manager Scott Servais said: “It’s a great offensive player to add to our mix. With the fact he can move around the field and is willing to do it, it should really keep some guys fresh and hopefully it pays dividends.” Cano was at .287/.385/.441 in 39 games this season before his suspension he is an eight-time All-Star with 305 career home runs.
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Cornerback Orlando Scandrick was released by the Washington Redskins on Tuesday. Scandrick received a $1 million signing bonus as part of a two-year contract, but head coach Jay Gruden said Tuesday the potential of the team’s younger cornerbacks forced the move. Scandrick was expected to be in Kansas City to meet with the Chiefs later on Tuesday; and according to reports, the New York Giants are also on the list of teams who are interested in meeting him. Scandrick started his career with the Dallas Cowboys and was a fifth-round pick out of Boise State by the Cowboys in 2008.
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Carmelo Anthony has signed a one-year, $2.4 million contract with the Houston Rockets on Monday. Anthony’s move to Houston has been rumored for weeks, but the veteran first had to finalize a buyout with the Hawks before signing with the Rockets. Now that Anthony officially cleared waivers earlier this month, he’s now ready to sign Houston. The 34-year-old, who averaged a career-low 16.2 points per game with the Thunder in 2017-18, will likely slot in as the Rockets’ starting power forward during the upcoming campaign.
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WWE tag team champion Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart has passed away at 63. Neidhart first tried his hand at making a career in the NFL, briefly playing for both the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, before heading to Calgary, Alberta, Canada to train as a pro wrestler. Neidhart later ended up marrying into the Hart family – essentially wrestling industry royalty – in 1985. 1985 also saw Neidhart make his WWE debut, after Stu Hart sold off his Stampede Wrestling promotion to Vince McMahon. Neidhart formed a tag team with Stu’s son Bret “The Hitman” Hart, dubbed The Hart Foundation. The duo would go on to become one of the most popular tag teams in WWE history, winning the WWE tag team titles twice. Neidhart passed away early Monday morning, at his home in Florida. According to police sources: “Preliminary information indicates that [Neidhart] fell at home, hit his head, and succumbed to his injury.” His daughter Natalya, a former WWE women’s champion, is a current member of the WWE Monday Night Raw roster.
Denver Nuggets guard Isaiah Thomas quickly apologized Saturday night after a video posted on social media surfaced in which he called the city of Cleveland “as—h—.” Thomas later posted an apology on Twitter, and then posted an additional video on Instagram saying, “Cleveland wasn’t that bad. … The situation just wasn’t the best.” Thomas also tweeted, “I apologize for my choice of words about Cleveland. I was on my live playing around. They don’t show you everything for a reason smh. Right after that I clarified what I said…. All love to everybody who had love for me in Cleveland.” Thomas was traded last offseason to the Cavaliers in the deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston. However, he was recovering from a hip injury and did not play for the Cavaliers until Jan. 2. In February, the Cavaliers traded Thomas to the Los Angeles Lakers, and just last month Thomas signed a minimum contract with the Nuggets.
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The New England Patriots reportedly will add a number of performance-related incentives into his contract for the 2018 and 2019 seasons; the incentives will allow the five-time Super Bowl winner to earn up to $5 million more this season. According to reports, Brady’s base salary of $14 million for the 2018 season puts him fifth in the NFL among quarterbacks behind Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins ($22.5 million), Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers ($19.8 million), Seattle’s Russell Wilson ($15.5 million) and Carolina’s Cam Newton ($14.5 million). Thus Brady’s contract represents a bargain for the Patriots, considering that the 41-year-old was the league’s MVP last season—the third time he’s won the award.
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