L.A. Clippers Paul George Fined $35,000 For Criticism Of Official

The NBA announced Thursday that Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George has been fined $35,000 for publicly criticizing officials following his team’s road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

“I thought we played well, we lost by seven. There was some home-court cooking tonight to say the least,” George said after the Clippers’ 110-103 to the 76ers on Tuesday. George, who shot 3 of 15 from the floor in that contest, took issue with the disparity in fouls in the game. “I mean it was 19 to 11. You all figure out what those numbers are. It was 19 to 11,” George said.

Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s executive vice president for basketball operations, said in the release that the amount of George’s fine reflects his prior violations of the rule prohibiting public criticism of the officiating. George has been fined eight times by the NBA for criticizing officials. The 29-year-old was fined $35,000 for the same infraction in December 2015.

George fined $35K for ‘home cooking’ comments

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Houston Astros Players Apologize For Sign-Stealing Scandal

On Thursday, two star Houston Astros players apologized for their roles in the sign-stealing scandal which called their team’s championship seasons into question.

Second baseman Jose Altuve and third baseman Alex Bregman made brief statements to reporters at the team’s spring training headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida. The apologies from the players came exactly one month since MLB on Jan. 13 announced the findings of an investigation into the Houston team’s stealing opponents’ pitching signs during its World Series-winning 2017 season. Astros owner Jim Crane, seated next to new manager Dusty Baker, also said the team was sorry, adding, “We cannot take back what happened.”

The Astros were fined and stripped of draft choices after the Major League Baseball investigation found that they used television cameras to steal signs of opposing catchers and passed on that crucial pitch information to Houston batters. Houston were 2017 World Series champions and 2019 American League pennant winners.

Astros’ Bregman, Altuve apologize for sign-stealing scheme

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St. Louis Blues Share Update On Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester After His Medical Emergency

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is doing “very well” one day after collapsing on the team bench during a road game against the Anaheim Ducks. Armstrong said Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac event during in the first period, losing consciousness and that a defibrillator was used to “revive him.”  Bouwmeester was transported to UC Irvine Medical Center in nearby Orange. The game was postponed after the incident, and the team canceled its scheduled flight to Las Vegas and spent Tuesday night in Orange County. 

During a press conference Wednesday at a hotel in Las Vegas after the team’s arrival for Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights, Armstrong said: “Jay Bouwmeester is doing very well at the UC Irvine Medical Center. Jay is currently undergoing a battery of tests to determine the how and why of what happened last night, but things are looking very positive.”  Armstrong said the game with Anaheim will be made up at a later date, and that the NHL may have to move a few games around to make it work for both teams.

Jay Bouwmeester undergoing test following cardiac episode

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NFL Reinstates Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett After Suspension

The NFL is reinstating suspended Cleveland Browns pass rusher Myles Garrett. Garrett was suspended for the final six games of the regular season. Garrett met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Monday to discuss the future course of action.

During a Nov. 14 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Garrett removed the helmet of quarterback Mason Rudolph and swung it at his head just making contact. The incident occurred in the waning moments of the game and initiated an all-out brawl between the two teams. The league disciplined 33 players and gave out over $700,000 in fines. 

Browns executive vice president of football operations and general manager Andrew Berry said, via the team’s press release: “We welcome Myles back to our organization with open arms. We know he is grateful to be reinstated, eager to put the past behind him and continue to evolve and grow as a leader.  We look forward to having his strong positive presence back as a teammate, player and person in our community.”

Browns’ Garrett reinstated by NFL after 6-game suspension

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MVP Delle Donne Signs 4-Year Deal With WNBA Champs Washington Mystics

On Tuesday, two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne signed a four-year contract with the Washington Mystics after leading the team to its first league championship. In addition to winning a title and MVP honors, Delle Donne was a member of the all-WNBA first team for the second year in a row and made her sixth consecutive All-Star appearance.

Donne averaged 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season while making 51.5% of her field-goal attempts, including 43% on 3-pointers. She is entering her fourth season with Washington after playing for the Chicago Sky, for whom she was the WNBA MVP in 2015.

Mystics re-sign MVP Delle Donne to 4-year deal

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Former Bench Coach Ron Roenicke Named Boston Red Sox Interim Manager

After their sign-stealing scandal caused the Boston Red Sox to part ways with manager Alex Cora, the team has found a temporary replacement in the dugout. Ron Roenicke will be named the Red Sox’s interim manager.

Roenicke, 63, has been the Red Sox bench coach the past two seasons. He has previous experience, as he managed the Brewers from 2011 until May 3, 2015. He posted winning records in three of his four full seasons in Milwaukee and won the NL Central at 96-66 in 2011.  He also was the Dodgers and Angels’ third-base coach between his Brewers and Red Sox jobs. 

Sources: Roenicke to be Red Sox interim manager

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Edmonton Oilers Sign Defenseman Darnell Nurse To Two-Year $11.2M Extension

The Edmonton Oilers signed defenseman Darnell Nurse to a two-year contract extension Monday. The 25-year-old Nurse has 24 points (four goals, 20 assists) and 44 penalty minutes in 55 games this season.

Nurse was selected by the Oilers with the No. 7 pick of the 2013 draft. He has 112 points (28 goals, 84 assists) in 334 regular-season games with Edmonton.

Oilers sign defenseman Darnell Nurse to two-year extension

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Los Angeles Chargers And Quarterback Philip Rivers Part Ways After 16 Seasons

The Los Angeles Chargers announced Monday that the team and 16-year quarterback Philip Rivers have decided to mutually part ways.  Rivers, 38, will enter free agency this offseason. 

The team wrote in a statement: “There’s only one Philip Rivers, and we’ve been fortunate to call him our QB1 for the better part of two decades. We cannot thank Philip enough for giving it his all on every single down and for the memories he created that will last a lifetime.”

Rivers has spent his entire career playing for the Chargers. He made his NFL debut against the Raiders in 2006. He has an 18-9 career record against the Raiders with 47 touchdown passes — his most against any opponent — and 22 interceptions. 

The Chargers hold the No. 6 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and could target a QB like Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa or many others. 

Rivers to enter free agency, ending Chargers run

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Tampa Bay Vipers’ Ricky Walker Becomes 1st Ejection In XFL History

Tampa Bay Vipers defensive tackle Ricky Walker made XFL history Sunday, by becoming the first XFL player to get ejected in the rebooted league.  Walker punched New York Guardians center Ian Silberman in the facemask, and officials promptly booted him from the game. 

The infraction occurred in the second quarter with the Vipers already trailing 14-0.  Sunday’s game was the first for both the Guardians and the Vipers in the rebooted professional football league. There were two games on Saturday in the inaugural weekend.

Tampa Bay Vipers DT Ricky Walker becomes first player ejected in XFL reboot

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Tampa Bay Rays Trade Emilio Pagán To San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres acquired reliever Emilio Pagán from the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in exchange for outfielder Manuel Margot and a minor leaguer. Tampa Bay also got catcher/outfielder Logan Driscoll in the trade. The 22-year-old Driscoll was selected by the Padres in the second round of the 2019 amateur draft.

The 28-year-old Pagán went 4-2 with a 2.31 ERA in 66 games last year. The right-hander spent the first two weeks of the season with Triple-A Durham and still managed to lead the Rays bullpen with 20 saves and 96 strikeouts.

Margot batted .234 with 12 homers and 37 RBIs in 151 games in 2019. He also had a career-high 20 steals.

Rays trade Pagan to Padres for Margot, prospect

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