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Toronto Maple Leafs sign winger Ilya Mikheyev to two-year deal - TSN
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Ilya Mikheyev avoid an arbitration hearing set for Wednesday after the restricted free agent winger signs a two-year, $3.29 million contract extension Tuesday night, Kristen Shilton writes.
TORONTO The Maple Leafs have avoided an arbitration hearing on Wednesday with restricted free agent winger Ilya Mikheyev, settling instead on a two-year, $3.29 million contract extension Tuesday night. Mikheyev had exercised his right for an arbitration hearing earlier this month after the Leafs extended a qualifying offer to the pending RFA but then failed to find common ground with his camp on a new extension. The 26-year-old had been looking for a one-year, $2.7 million deal from Toronto, while the Leafs initially countered with a two-year contract, averaging $1 million per season. According to CapFriendly, the Leafs are now exceeding the NHLs flat salary cap of $81.5 million, with RFA Travis Dermott still left to be signed. General manager Kyle Dubas said in a conference call on Sunday he was waiting for Mikheyev's deal to be done before turning the team's attention to Dermott. Toronto can be 10 per cent over the cap until the 2020-21 regular season begins, at a date still to be determined. Mikheyevs case was an especially interesting one to consider from both sides, given how the forwards promising rookie season was cut short by a gruesome injury. Never originally drafted by an NHL club, Mikheyevs stock built slowly over four seasons in his native Russia with the KHLs Omsk Avangard. By the end of his career-best 45-point campaign in 2018-19, several NHL clubs were making offers, but it was the Leafs who landed Mikheyev in May 2019 on a one-year, entry-level contract. Starting out in a third-line role for the 2019-20 season, Mikheyev scored in his NHL debut, and put up seven points in his first 10 games. He continued to show versatility from there, able to play on either wing and hold his own in the top-six when necessary. Mikheyev had amassed eight goals and 23 points in his first 39 games when his freshman year took a brutal turn. Facing the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 27, he suffered ligament damage when Jesper Bratts skate blade accidentally cut into his right wrist. The injury required surgery to repair and Mikheyev was not able to return before the NHL hit pause in March amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. He was back to full health for Torontos qualifying-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets in early August, but Mikheyev was ineffective and failed to register a single point through those five games, as the Leafs fell three games to two. Despite that poor showing, Mikheyevs speed, hockey sense and hard shot make him a valuable addition to the Leafs offence going forward and he projects to play in the top-six again next season.
Vanney rips Supporters' Shield decision - TSN
A day after it was announced the Supporters' Shield, the award handed out each year to the MLS team with the best regular season record by way of points, will not be awarded in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney had some choi…
A day after it was announced the Supporters' Shield, the award handed out each year to the MLS team with the best regular season record by way of points, will not be awarded in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney had some choice words for the decision. "My players are pissed. It is a huge sign of disrespect to the players," Vanney told TSN's Kristian Jack. "It has arguably been the most difficult season in the history of our league where people have put their health at risk to play and put games on television for fans. This season required a huge commitment from all the teams - people were genuinely afraid for their health. Its a disgraceful decision that delegitimizes the whole idea of the Shield in our opinion. Those made the decision are like kids in a park who take the ball away when the game isn't going their way. It's childish and a symbol that they don't know how sports operates." Join us for Toronto FC vs Atlanta United at 7pm on TSN1/4 tonight where we will address the decision not to award the Supporters Shield in 2020 to the best MLS team. I just spoke to Toronto FC boss Greg Vanney about this decision and here is some of what he had to say. #TFCLivepic.twitter.com/77NcVlru6b Kristian Jack (@KristianJack) October 18, 2020 TFC, who have already clinched a playoff spot, sit first in the MLS and were in line to capture the Supporters' Shield for the second time in franchise history. They last held the award in 2017 The Supporters' Shield Foundation is responsible for handing out the award and put out a statement on their Twitter account citing a lack of fans being able to attend games due the current COVID-19 pandemic. "After much consideration and discussion the Supporters' Shield Foundation has decided to forego awarding the Supporters' Shield for the 2020 season," the Foundation said. "This is not an easy decision to make. With the inability for supporters to be in attendance and fill their stadiums with passion, however, we feel as though the current climate goes against the spirit of the Shield. "The Supporters' Shield Foundation stands with our players and our supporters in knowing that this year has been one of many challenges, and we commend the support and effort given to making the best of the 2020 season as it has been. With no 2020 winner to house the Shield, we will be taking 2021 as a means to spread the word and spirit of the shield across the entire league. We look forward to educating supporters on the the Shield's history and passion, as well as welcoming new supporter groups to MLS. As long as it can be safely done, the Supporters' Shield will be going on tour in 2021 so that as many supporters as possible may be able to see and learn about this wonderful symbol of North American soccer. On behalf of the Supporters' Shield board, we hope everyone remains safe. We look forward to awarding the Shield to the winners of the 2021 season." MLS responded to the Independent Supporters Council of their decision on Saturday. "Major League Soccer has been notified by the Independent Supporters Council of their decision to not award the Supporters' Shield this season. Everyone involved in MLS understands that the 2020 season -- like every major professional sports league -- was unprecedented in our history," MLS said in a statement. "The club that finishes at the top of our regular season will have persevered through a highly challenging year. As in previous seasons, this team will be the top seed in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, earn a berth in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League and receive the bonus that goes to the club that finishes first overall in the regular season standings. Most of all, the millions of people who follow and support our league, teams and players will always remember the club that finished as 2020 MLS regular season leader."
Seager homers again as Dodgers force Game 7 - TSN
Corey Seager homered again, Walker Buehler pitched six scoreless innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers pushed the NL Championship Series to Game 7 with a 3-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
ARLINGTON, Texas Corey Seager's sweet swing. Walker Buehler's calm. Kenley Jansen's resurgence. The Los Angeles Dodgers got what they needed again. We did what we had to do to force a Game 7," Justin Turner said. They sure did. Seager homered again, Buehler pitched six scoreless innings and the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Saturday to send the NL Championship Series to a winner-take-all finale. Los Angeles avoided elimination for the second time in less than 24 hours, staying alive in its pursuit of a third pennant in four years. It hasn't won a championship since 1988. Im still sort of recovering from this one, but already thinking about Game 7, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. Thats what you live for. Turner also homered for Los Angeles, and Jansen threw a six-pitch ninth for his 18th career post-season save. The NL West and East champions play again Sunday night, with the potential for two rookie starters in a Game 7 for the first time in big league history. Roberts was keeping his options open for his starting pitcher while the Braves plan to go with rookie right-hander Ian Anderson, who has thrown 15 2/3 scoreless innings in his three post-season starts. Tony Gonsolin and three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw are among the possibilities for Los Angeles. Shoot, well go out there and let er fly. A Game 7 is another baseball game, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. You have to treat it as such. The Braves were hoping to celebrate Snitkers 65th birthday Saturday with the franchises first World Series berth since 1999. But Max Fried took his first loss all year, working into the seventh inning after surrendering three runs during a rocky first. Buehler, using Stan's Rodeo Ointment to deal with bothersome blisters, threw 65 of his 89 pitches for strikes. He allowed seven hits while striking out six without a walk. After Atlanta loaded the bases with three singles in a row to start the top of second the last hit by his Vanderbilt roommate Dansby Swanson the right-hander really brought the heat, with 10 consecutive fastballs to get out of the jam. Austin Riley struck out on a 98.7 mph pitch before Nick Markakis took a called third strike on 99.7 mph. Cristian Pache, the 21-year-old rookie who had an RBI in each of his first four NLCS starts, was retired on an inning-ending groundout. His mound presence is just unbelievable," Turner said. Buehler said he has never felt that calm in a game, especially a situation like that. He credited catcher Austin Barnes and past experiences. Ive failed in those moments. I've been through it and Ive been good after it, but that failure doesnt really scare me anymore, Buehler said. The more times you go through things like that, your heartbeat kind of changes and can slow down." It was a much different result than Buehlers post-season debut two years ago in Game 3 of the NL Division Series, when the Braves also loaded the bases against him in the second inning. After a walk drove in a run, Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a grand slam on the next pitch. Fried, who struck out five and walked four in 6 2/3 innings, allowed only two homers in his 11 starts while going 7-0 during the regular season. But the Dodgers went deep twice in three pitches in the first. Seager pulled a towering shot to right on a 73-mph curveball, and Turner connected on a 93-mph sinker that went 418 feet to straightaway centre. Max Muncy walked and scored after back-to-back singles by Will Smith and Cody Bellinger that made it 3-0. I came out in a game like this and kind of put us behind the eight-ball real quick. Fried said. To me, thats unacceptable. Seager, who homered twice in Game 5 on Friday night, has NLCS records with five homers and 11 RBIs, and still a game to play. His six homers overall are already a Dodgers post-season record. Mookie Betts, the 2018 AL MVP and first-year Dodger, made a l eaping catch against the right field wall to end the fifth. While it wouldnt have been a homer, it robbed Marcell Ozuna of extra bases, and the Braves a likely run. Betts let out a emphatic shout while pumping both fists, then celebrated with Bellinger while Buehler held his right arm high in the air. With Buehler out of the game, Nick Markakis greeted Blake Treinen with triple to right leading off off the seventh and came home on a one-out double by Ronald Acuña Jr. But the Dodgers' bullpen closed it out from there, with Jansen finishing the victory in an encouraging performance heading into Game 7. It was Jansens first save chance in five appearances since closing out the Dodgers first playoff win this season in the wild-card round. He struck out the side on 12 pitches in Friday nights 7-3 win. Two huge outings, not only for us, but him personally, you can just see the confidence he has on the mound attacking guys, Turner said. Thats the Kenley Jansen I and all of us in there all know and love. STRANGE PLAY Ozzie Albies hit a slow chopper down the first-base line in the Braves sixth that was fielded by Muncy, who then made the tag before the ball popped out. Albies thought he was out and never touched first base. Muncy tossed the ball to Buehler, who tagged the runner already heading back to the Atlanta dugout. GAME 7s The Dodgers are playing in a Game 7 for the third time in four years. They won 5-1 at Milwaukee in the deciding game of the 2018 NLCS, after losing 5-1 at home to the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. Atlanta hasnt played in a Game 7 since its 15-0 win over St. Louis in the 1996 NLCS. SHORT HOPS The 14 homers by Los Angeles are tied for the most in an NLCS, and two behind the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays for the most in any LCS. ... Only once before have the Dodgers won three consecutive potential elimination games to take a series. That was in the best-of-five NL Division Series in 1981. They won the World Series that year. UP NEXT Braves: Anderson needed 85 pitches to get through four innings in Game 2, when he allowed only one hit with five strikeouts. But he walked five batters in a game Atlanta held on to win 8-7. Dodgers: Gonsolins post-season debut starting Game 2 came after Kershaw was scratched because of back spasms. Gonsolin struck out seven but allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings. Kershaw pitched Game 4 on Thursday. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Smith, Seager help Dodgers extend series - TSN
Dodgers catcher Will Smith hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off the Atlanta reliever with the same name, Corey Seager homered twice and Los Angeles avoided elimination with a 7-3 win over the Braves in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Friday night.
ARLINGTON, Texas One Will Smith outdid another Will Smith to keep the season alive for the Los Angeles Dodgers. A common name, a special result for the Dodgers catcher. Smith hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off the Atlanta Braves reliever with the same name, Corey Seager homered twice and the Dodgers avoided elimination with a 7-3 win in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Friday night. Ill always bet on our Will Smith, Dodges manager Dave Roberts said. Smith connected in the sixth against of all people Will Smith, the fourth of six Braves pitchers in their bullpen night that started with a couple of post-season firsts by A.J. Minter. For him to come through for us in that spot. Im happy to see him expressing himself, Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts said of his teammate who rarely shows emotion but was clearly pumped up by his big blast. Betts got that decisive sixth started with an infield single, and the first-year Dodger and former AL MVP had a running, shoestring catch in right field that turned into an inning-ending double play. His snag took an Atlanta run off the board after a replay challenge right before Seager's first homer. Youre talking about momentum shifts, thats the play of the year," Roberts said. I just thought there was no way he was going to make that play. Game 6 is Saturday afternoon, with a pitching rematch from the series opener: lefty Max Fried for the Braves and right-hander Walker Buehler for the Dodgers. Both gave up one run in Game 1, which Atlanta won 5-1 after a four-run ninth. Atlanta is looking to get into the World Series for the first time since 1999. I knew it was going to be a really hard series, regardless of what situation youre in, Braves manager Brian Snitker said. I feel good tomorrow with Max on the mound. I feel really good with him going out there. Hopefully we can score a few runs and support him and wrap this thing up. Blake Treinen, the third of seven Dodgers pitchers and the Game 1 loser in relief, pitched two perfect innings for the win. Inconsistent closer Kenley Jansen struck out the side in a non-save situation to end it, which Roberts called a highlight for him. Betts had a stolen base after his sixth-starting single before Justin Turner's one-out hard grounder that got Betts caught in a rundown. The Braves then brought in their lefty named Will Smith to face left-handed batter Max Muncy, who drew a walk before the Dodgers' catcher named Will Smith hit a full-count pitch 404 feet to left-centre for a 4-2 lead. It got the team going. that energy bounces off of each other, Smith said. It was the first time since at least 1961 that a batter homered off a pitcher with the same name in the regular season or post-season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Dodgers extended their lead in the seventh when Chris Taylor hit a two-out double and scored on a single by Betts before Seager hit a ball into LA's bullpen in right-centre. Seager's four homers and 10 RBIs have already tied NLCS records, with at least one more game for the Dodgers to play two if they want a chance to get to the World Series for the third time in four years. The four homers are already a record for a shortstop in any post-season series. Just kind of putting good swings on pitches and everything is kind of clicking, Seager said. Taylor turned an ankle in left field during the eighth inning but remained in the game. Manager Dave Roberts said Taylor would get treatment and testing prior to Game 6. Minter struck out seven of the 10 batters he faced as the first pitcher in MLB history whose first start came in a post-season game. The fourth-year big leaguer became the first pitcher starter or reliever with seven strikeouts in three innings or fewer in a post-season game. He had already matched his career high before striking out the side all on called third strikes in the third before leaving with a 2-0 lead. After Marcell Ozuna and Travis d'Arnaud had consecutive singles to start the third for Atlanta, there was one out when Dansby Swanson hit a sinking liner to right. Betts made a running catch, with his glove skimming the ground before his throw home was late. But the Dodgers challenged that Ozuna that left third base early and it became the Braves third out instead of their third run. We were able to get a stop, Betts said. Yesterday we couldnt stop the bleeding. Today, we were able to get a stop right there and put some pressure on them. Umpires and the off-site replay crew needed nearly two minutes to make their ruling, but Dodgers fielders and even Braves runners had already left the field after watching the play on the big video board. It's not always on the offensive side that you get the spark, Seager said. A big play in a big moment you get some energy. Right after that, Seager's leadoff homer to straightaway centre in the fourth cut the Dodgers deficit to 2-1. Rookie centre fielder Cristian Pache made a leaping try at the wall, but the ball went just behind his extended glove. But Pache did time things up in the eighth, robbing Muncy of a homer with a nearly identical play. The Braves scored in both innings off LA starter Dustin May. Freddie Freeman doubled, went to third and scored on d'Arnaud's sacrifice fly in the first, and Pache had an RBI single in the second. D'Arnaud added an RBI groundout in the eighth. CATCHER COMEBACK Smith became only the third catcher in Dodgers franchise history to hit a go-ahead home run in the post-season. The last was Steve Yeager in Game 5 of the 1981 World Series of Ron Guidry of the New York Yankees. The other was Roy Campanella, who did it twice: in Game 3 of the 1953 World Series and Game 3 of the 1955 World Series. FIRST RBIS The 21-year-old Pache, who has played in only two regular season games in the big leagues, has an RBI in each of his four NLCS starts. He became a starter after outfielder Adam Duvall's left oblique injury in the series opener. LOT OF RELIEF Minter hadnt started a game since his junior season at Texas A&M in 2015, the same year Atlanta drafted him in the second round. He had made 144 relief appearances (139 regular season, five playoff games) the past four seasons for the Braves, along with 77 minor league games, before his first professional start. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Ex-Angels employee indicted in Skaggs death - TSN
A former employee of the Los Angeles Angels was indicted by a federal grand jury in Texas on Friday over the 2019 death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Eric Kay was indicted on two counts of distributing the fentanyl that led to Skaggs's death by accidental overdose.
A former employee of the Los Angeles Angels was indicted by a federal grand jury in Texas on Friday over the 2019 death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Eric Kay was indicted on two counts of distributing the fentanyl that led to Skaggs's death by accidental overdose. On or about June 30, 2019 Eric Prescott Kay, the defendant, did knowingly and intentionally distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, and the use of said substance resulted in the death and serious bodily injury of [Skaggs], the indictment said. Kay, who had been employed by the Angels for 24 years, was arrested in August. Friday was the deadline to deliver an indictment. Skaggs, 27, was found dead in a Southlake, TX hotel room on July 1, 2019 ahead of a three-game series with the Texas Rangers. A toxicology report found fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system. In an affidavit supporting a criminal complaint against Kay, text messages revealed that Skaggs had approached Kay for pills on June 30. It was later determined that but for the fentanyl in [Skaggs] system, [he] would not have died, DEA agent Geoffrey Lindenberg wrote in the affidavit. The affidavit also alleged that Kay had provided Skaggs with opioids in the past, as well as to other members of the organization. Kay had worked in the Angels' public relations department. He was placed on leave shortly after Skaggs's death and never returned to the team. A first-round pick in 2009, Skaggs was in his seventh big-league season at the time of his death.
Braves push Kershaw, Dodgers to brink - TSN
The longtime ace of the Dodgers faltered at the start of the sixth inning against Atlanta, allowing three straight hits before watching the rest of a six-run outburst in the Braves' 10-2 win in Game 4 on Thursday night.
ARLINGTON, Texas Clayton Kershaw made the slow trudge to that lonely spot in the dugout once again, this time just a few miles from his hometown. The longtime ace of the Dodgers just can't shake his playoff curse, not even on friendly turf in a neutral-site NL Championship Series. Kershaw faltered at the start of the sixth inning against Atlanta, allowing three straight hits before watching the rest of a six-run outburst in the Braves' 10-2 win in Game 4 on Thursday night. Kershaw's franchise-high 12th post-season loss put Los Angeles down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series at the home of the Texas Rangers, on the brink of a second straight defeat in the NLCS after posting the best record in the majors during the pandemic-shortened season. Pitching two days after he was scratched from a Game 2 start because of back spasms, Kershaw allowed four runs in five-plus innings, boosting his career playoff ERA to 4.31. While the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner is also the club's career leader in post-season wins with his 11-12 record, his October resume simply doesn't match his stellar regular-season numbers: 175-76 with a 2.43 ERA. In LA's seven trips to the NLCS over Kershaw's 13 seasons, the Dallas native is 3-6 with a 4.84 ERA. And now the left-hander has been outpitched by a rookie making his post-season debut: Atlanta's 22-year-old Game 4 winner, Bryse Wilson. I think that he came out and five innings, one run, again, what happened right there in that sixth inning, he gave us a chance to win the baseball game, manager Dave Roberts said. We couldnt put any runs up early and get a lead, or hold a lead. That narrative couldnt be further from the truth. Kershaw was handed a 1-0 lead on Edwin Ríos' homer in the third, but gave it up on Marcell Ozuna's solo shot in the fourth, the first of two for Ozuna. In the sixth, Ronald Acuña Jr.'s high chopper eluded the glove of a leaping Kershaw behind the mound for an infield single. Freddie Freeman and Ozuna followed with consecutive RBI doubles, and Kershaw was done in Los Angeles' third loss in four games since winning its first five in the playoffs. It would have been nice to get Acuna out, Kershaw said. Just part of playing on turf. He kind of chopped that one up. Freddie, I had two strikes on him. Probably just went one too many pitches inside. Kershaw had never pitched near his Dallas home before doing so twice in a week and a half in this unusual post-season, first without fans in an NL Division Series sweep of San Diego and then a pandemic-reduced crowd in the NLCS. The eight-time All-Star recorded his 11th post-season win in the Dodgers' 6-5 victory in Game 2 of the NLDS, but he was far from dominant. Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer hit back-to-back homers to cut into a 4-1 deficit. A night after becoming the first team to score 11 runs in an inning and the first with 15 runs and five homers in the first three innings of a post-season game, the Dodgers had just three hits. Ríos homer was their only hit before Kershaw exited. Every time Kershaw gets on that mound, you want to score 20, Ríos said. You want to score as many runs as we can for him. It was unfortunate we werent able to do that tonight. If the Hall of Fame is in his future, Kershaw won't be alone among star pitchers who struggled in the playoffs. Greg Maddux was 11-14 in the post-season, most of those decisions when Atlanta won just one World Series during a run of 14 straight NL East titles. Randy Johnson was 7-9, and fellow lefty Steve Carlton just 6-6. Another lefty, David Price, was 2-9 before winning his final three decisions for Boston when the Red Sox won the World Series two years ago. Each of those pitchers has at least one title, though. Kershaw still doesn't have one despite the club record in playoff starts (28) and innings (177 1/3). Kershaw now has 11 career post-season starts of allowing at least four runs, tied with Maddux for the second-most. Only Andy Pettitte, another lefty, has more. Ozuna's first homer in Game 4 was the 27th Kershaw has allowed in the playoffs, breaking a tie with Justin Verlander for second-most, also behind Pettitte (31). ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
RB Bell signing one-year deal with Chiefs - TSN
Le'Veon Bell, who was released by the New York Jets earlier this week, is signing with the Chiefs on a one-year deal, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs added some potential punch to their running game Thursday as veteran back Le'Veon Bell has signed a deal to join the defending Super Bowl champions. Bell, who was released by the New York Jets earlier this week, is signing with the Chiefs on a one-year deal, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Bell took to Twitter to express his excitement at the news. The Chiefs, who also took to Twitter to welcome Bell to Kansas City, play the Jets in Week 8. Bell will have to go through five days of COVID-19 testing before he can join the Chiefs, per league protocols, so he won't be available to play on Monday, when the Chiefs visit the Bills. Bell had narrowed his choices to the Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported earlier Thursday. The 4-1 Chiefs are 13th in the league in rushing at 119 yards per game and 10th at 4.5 yards per carry. But most of their best work in the running game came in Week 1, when rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Houston Texans. Since then, the Chiefs are 19th in the league in rushing (108 yards per game) and don't have a rushing touchdown from a running back. The Chiefs lost starting running back Damien Williams before the start of the season when he opted out for COVID-19 reasons. They also have Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson and DeAndre Washington at running back. The Jets released Bell on Tuesday, ending a 19-month tenure that was filled with disappointment. Bell, who arrived as a marquee free agent in 2019, never clicked with coach Adam Gase, who opposed the signing from the outset. Frustrated by his lack of involvement in the offense, Bell met with Gase and general manager Joe Douglas on Monday, a source told ESPN's Rich Cimini. They told Bell they would explore a trade and gave his agent permission to speak with other teams. Bell, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, was a disappointment since signing a four-year, $52.5 million contract last year with the Jets, averaging only 3.3 yards per carry -- 51st out of 53 qualifying runners in the NFL during that span. In 17 games with the Jets, Bell rushed for 863 yards and three touchdowns. He was hurt by mediocre line play and a system that didn't cater to his strengths as a versatile player. The Jets are responsible for the remaining $6 million on Bell's 2020 base pay, but there is an offset clause that will defray it by the amount of the salary on a new contract with the Chiefs. Bell, 28, joined the Jets after sitting out the entire 2018 season after receiving the franchise tag from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a second straight year. After gaining nearly 2,000 total yards during the 2017 season, Bell opted to eschew the $14.5 million franchise tag in 2018 -- forgoing about $855,000 per game -- so he could preserve his long-term viability for a big contract in free agency. After the 2017 season, Bell showed his conviction by turning down a five-year, $70 million offer from the Steelers because of what he called a low true guarantee of $17 million, and he was able to miss games because he was unsigned and thus not bound to the team. In five seasons with the Steelers, Bell rushed for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns. He also had 312 receptions for 2,660 yards and seven scores.
Falcons close facility due to positive test - TSN
The Atlanta Falcons are shutting down their facility due to a positive COVID-19 test, the team announced on Thursday. The Falcons plan to conduct all of their operations virtually.
The Atlanta Falcons are shutting down their facility due to a positive COVID-19 test, the team announced on Thursday. The Falcons plan to conduct all of their operations virtually. Out of an abundance of caution following one new positive test, we have made the decision to stop all in-person work at IBM Performance Field Thursday and will conduct all operations virtually. - https://t.co/cbpHToID1b Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) October 15, 2020 The Falcons are scheduled to be on the road against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Sitting last in the NFC South at 0-5, the Falcons fired head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff on Sunday. Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was installed at interim head coach in the wake of the moves.
Springer, Altuve go deep as Astros stay alive in ALCS - TSN
George Springer broke a tie with a two-run homer, José Altuve homered and hit an RBI double, and Zack Greinke escaped a bases-loaded jam for the Houston Astros, who beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Wednesday night to stay alive in the AL Championship Series.
SAN DIEGO José Altuve and the Houston Astros are eager to match the 2004 Boston Red Sox in the history books. Beating the Tampa Bay Rays three more times to reach the World Series won't be easy, but the Astros believe they can do it. George Springer broke a tie with a two-run homer, Altuve also went deep and hit an RBI double, and Zack Greinke escaped a bases-loaded jam as Houston stayed alive in the AL Championship Series with a 4-3 victory Wednesday night in Game 4. "We are very motivated, Altuve said. "We know the team we have and yes, we want to be the second team coming back from 0-3. Big league clubs leading 3-0 in a best-of-seven post-season series are 37-1. The only one to rally from an 0-3 deficit was the 2004 Red Sox, who beat the New York Yankees in the ALCS and went on to win their first World Series in 86 seasons. Greinke pitched six effective innings for the Astros, who held a meeting before the game. Houston manager Dusty Baker said he had no idea what was brought up, but he also addressed the team. Weve got some real leaders on this team, some dominant personalities who listen more than they talk," Baker said. With Altuve atoning for his poor defence in this series, the Astros finally got their offence going after being pushed to the brink of a sweep. Seeking their third pennant in four seasons, they trail 3-1 going into Game 5 on Thursday afternoon. Im just happy that we won the game and were on to tomorrow, Springer said. The Rays remain one win from advancing to the World Series for the second time in franchise history. The team feels good, rookie slugger Randy Arozarena said. Were going to stay positive. We came in here knowing we were going to face a solid team. Theyre probably feeling the same way. Greinke, bothered by a sore arm in the Division Series against Oakland, made only one big mistake when he allowed a two-run homer to Arozarena that tied the game at 2 in the fourth. Given a 4-2 lead by Springers homer in the fifth, Greinkes biggest pitch came when he struck out Mike Brosseau on a 3-2 changeup to end the sixth with the bases loaded. After Greinke allowed consecutive singles by Manuel Margot and Austin Meadows with one out, Baker came out for a chat and decided to let the veteran right-hander continue. Arozarena struck out on a check-swing and Ji-Man Choi singled to load the bases before Greinke fanned Brosseau. On Friday night, Brosseau hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning off Aroldis Chapman of the New York Yankees that carried the Rays to a 2-1 victory in the Game 5 clincher of the ALDS. Baker said he thought about putting in Ryan Pressly, but catcher Martin Maldonado said, He can get this guy. I guess I dont change my mind, but I hadnt had my mind really, really made up until I got out there and I saw the look in Zacks eyes and Maldy was adamant about he can get this guy, Baker said. I said, OK then youve got it then. This is the ballgame here.'" Greinke said the meeting was very intense, and praised the 71-year-old Baker. He reads people really good. I dont think Ive ever seen him make a wrong decision when he trusts what he sees. He sees the right thing almost 100% of the time. And not everyone has that skill. Greinke held the Rays to two runs and five hits for his first post-season win since 2015. He struck out seven and walked one. Tampa Bay's Willy Adames hit an RBI double off the bottom of the left-centre wall and advanced to third on a wild pitch in the ninth before Pressly got rookie Yoshi Tsutsugo on a liner to right for the save. Weve got to get the bats going, no doubt about it, Rays manager Kevin Cash said. Weve been carried here by our pitching and defence, which is how were built, but we sure would like to get some (hits). Rays towering right-hander Tyler Glasnow also went six innings, allowing four runs and eight hits while striking out five and walking two. Altuve hit a homer in the first and an RBI double in the third for a 2-0 lead. And when he needed to make an accurate throw to second for a key forceout in the ninth, the star second baseman was right on target. His offence helped make up for his three errors that helped the Rays win Games 2 and 3 to move to the cusp of their first World Series since 2008. Altuve homered for the second straight game and third time this series, all in the first inning. He and Springer are tied for the most homers in Astros post-season history, 18. With two outs in the third, Altuve doubled into the right-field corner to bring in Maldonado. One of the most impressive things about José is how he can clear his head and contribute in all aspects of his game, and to see him go out there and still wanting the ball hit to him and still swinging the bat is a testament to him," Springer said. Watching Altuve's errors was tough, Springer said. But I know who he is. I know the head he has on his shoulders. Hes our leader and he always has been. Arozarena homered onto the lower balcony on the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in the left-field corner with one out in the fourth to tie the game at 2. An inning later, Springer one-upped him when he hit a two-run shot onto the upper balcony of Petco Parks main landmark to regain the lead for the Astros. I knew it was a homer. I was able to hit a high fastball there. Its a tight line, so Im happy that it stayed fair, Springer said. It was the third home run of the post-season for Springer, the MVP of the 2017 World Series. It was the fifth of these playoffs for Arozarena, who homered in each of the first three games against the Yankees and then connected in the ALCS opener. THE VILLAINS The Astros remain villains in many peoples eyes for their sign-stealing scandal three years ago. On Wednesday night, someone with a megaphone on a balcony on a nearby building heckled members of the 2017 team by name: Carlos Correa. You are a cheater. Shame on you. Josh Reddick. You are a cheater. Shame on you, and so on. TRAINERS ROOM Rays: Gold Glove CF Kevin Kiermaier was out of the lineup with a bruised left hand after being hit with a pitch in Tampa Bays five-run sixth inning Tuesday night. Cash said Kiermaier would be available to hit if necessary. UP NEXT Rays: TBA. Astros: TBA. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Padres' Pham recovering after being stabbed - TSN
San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham is recovering after he was stabbed in the back Sunday night, authorities said.
San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham is recovering after he was stabbed in the back Sunday night, authorities said. Pham was stabbed shortly after 10:30 p.m. outside the Pacers Showgirls International gentlemen's club, police Lt. Shawn Takeuchi told the San Diego Union-Tribune. Pham apparently didn't know the attackers, who remain at large, he said. While it was a very traumatic and eye-opening experience for me, Im on the road to recovery and I know Ill be back to my off-season training routine in no time, Pham said in a statement released by the team. Two people who said they spoke with Pham told the Union-Tribune that Pham was leaving and saw an argument taking place near his car. One person told the paper that Pham was attacked after asking the arguing people to get away from his car. Pham was stabbed in the lower back and the wound pierced all three layers of skin but didn't damage any organs, according to a statement from the Padres. The team said he was in good condition and is expected to fully recover. Pham, 32, was traded to the Padres last year after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .211 this year with three home runs, 12 RBIs and six stolen bases in 31 games, then batted .375 (9 for 24) in six post-season games before San Diego was eliminated by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports