Tribune News Service
Sports Budget for Saturday, August 17, 2019
Updated at 10 p.m. EDT (0200 UTC)
This budget is now available at http://www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.
^The inside story of a legendary agent's successful recruitment of Patrick Mahomes<
FBN-CHIEFS-MAHOMES-AGENT-SPORTSPLUS:KC — The first meeting happened over brunch in a restaurant in the suburbs of Dallas. On one side of the table sat the people who loved Patrick Mahomes the most: his father Pat, his mother Randi, his younger sister Mia.
On the other side sat two men gaining ground quickly: Leigh Steinberg, perhaps the most well-known sports agent in the history of the profession, and Chris Cabott, now the president and COO of Steinberg Sports & Entertainment.
The moment represented ground zero in the recruitment of a Texas Tech quarterback who would soon change so many things — the NFL, whichever team drafted him, and whoever signed him.
2100 by Sam Mellinger in Kansas City, Mo. MOVED
^Kings guard De'Aaron Fox withdraws from USA World Cup team<
BKN-KINGS-FOX:SA — Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox made a big impression on USA Basketball players and coaches over the past two weeks, but his time with the national team has come to an end.
USA Basketball communications director Craig Miller told The Sacramento Bee on Saturday that Fox has withdrawn from Team USA activities, confirming reports from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports and Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Windhorst called it a "surprising move." Haynes cited unnamed league sources who said Fox wants to shift his focus to the upcoming NBA season and Sacramento's goal of ending the league's longest current postseason drought.
400 by Jason Anderson in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED
^Chargers safety Derwin James will have foot surgery, miss several games<
FBN-CHARGERS-JAMES:LA — The Chargers' worst fears were confirmed Saturday when they learned Derwin James will be sidelined deep into the regular season.
The team's All-Pro second-year safety will undergo surgery next week to repair a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.
A more definitive timeline should be known after the procedure, but James has been told he'll need a recovery time of three to four months.
Based on that projection, he'll be out at least until mid-November.
750 by Jeff Miller in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Panthers' Eric Reid sounds off on Jay-Z owning an NFL team: 'Despicable'<
FBN-PANTHERS-REID-JAYZ:CH — Panthers safety Eric Reid didn't go so far as to call Jay-Z a sellout, but he did consider the hip-hop mogul's foray into the NFL "despicable."
Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter's entertainment firm, Roc Nation, will now produce the NFL's Super Bowl halftime show, it was announced Wednesday, officially creating a partnership between Jay-Z and the NFL. In addition, TMZ Sports reported Friday that Jay-Z will become part owner of an NFL team soon. None of this sat well with Reid, who continues to kneel during the national anthem in protest of social injustice in the United States.
850 by Matthew Stephens and Luke DeCock in Charlotte, N.C. MOVED
^Red Sox place pitcher Chris Sale on the injured list with left elbow inflammation<
BBA-REDSOX-SALE:PJ — Chris Sale might have thrown the final pitch of his 2019 season.
The Red Sox left-hander was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday with elbow inflammation. Sale underwent an MRI, and his results will be discussed by doctors including and outside club medical staff. Noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews will be among those consulted regarding Sale's injury.
When asked whether or not Sale would pitch again this season, Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was uncertain.
600 by Bill Koch in Boston. MOVED
^Phillies reliever David Robertson undergoes 'Tommy John' elbow surgery, could miss all of next season<
BBN-PHILLIES-ROBERTSON:PH — For weeks, David Robertson has known that he wouldn't pitch again this season for the Phillies.
Now, he's faced with the reality that he might never pitch again for the Phillies at all.
Robertson underwent a reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow — commonly called "Tommy John surgery" — on Thursday, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said Saturday. Because the procedure also entailed the repair of Robertson's flexor tendon, the veteran reliever isn't expected to be able to pitch in games for 14-16 months, which would take him out for all of next season.
200 by Scott Lauber in Philadelphia. MOVED
^Mariano Rivera says only 'God and themselves' can stop Yankees from winning World Series<
BBA-YANKEES-RIVERA:NY — It's time. Mariano Rivera looks at this year's Yankee team and says it is time for the decade-long World Series drought to end. He sees no reason for them not to be hoisting the World Series trophy in October.
"The only thing that will stop them is God and themselves," Rivera said after a ceremony before Saturday's game commemorating his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame last month. "They have everything to do it. I don't see why not. It's time for the championship to go back to New York."
Rivera certainly knows something about winning titles.
400 by Kristie Ackert in New York. MOVED
^Torres continues to make history as Yankees hold off Indians, 6-5<
BBA-INDIANS-YANKEES:NY — Gleyber Torres became the youngest player to have seven multiple home run games in a season Saturday, and joined Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Alex Rodriguez as players to do it for the Yankees. Torres hit two as the Yankees held off the Cleveland Indians, 6-5, at Yankee Stadium.
Too bad Aaron Boone, Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia couldn't stick around to see it through to the finish.
All three were ejected in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was the fourth ejection for Boone this season, and the second for Gardner in the last eight days.
300 by Kristie Ackert in New York. MOVED
^Cubs snap 4-game losing streak as Kris Bryant, Jon Lester fuel 2-0 victory against Pirates<
BBN-CUBS-PIRATES:TB — The ingredients for a fifth consecutive loss were there.
But Jon Lester had other ideas, and he received some key help from Kris Bryant and Tyler Chatwood as the Cubs seized a 2-0 victory against the Pirates on Saturday to end their four-game losing streak.
The Cubs won for only the ninth time in their last 26 road games.
Lester (10-8) walked five but kept the Pirates hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position through six-plus innings.
Bryant, who was charged with two errors that put the shutout in jeopardy, snapped a scoreless tie with a home run off Steven Brault to open the seventh.
450 by Mark Gonzales in Pittsburgh. MOVED
^Kyle Seager's late homer helps lift Mariners over Blue Jays, 4-3<
BBA-MARINERS-BLUEJAYS:SE — There wasn't the traditional noise of ball hitting metal to know that it was a home run. In Rogers Centre, they don't use foul poles. They use yellow nets in the dimensions of typical foul poles, suspended from field to ceiling with cables, to simulate the boundaries between fair and foul instead.
So when Kyle Seager's rocket to right field flirted with the boundaries, there was no distinct sound that usually helps determine the outcome.
Seager's 15th homer of the season — a solo blast in the eighth inning off of a first-pitch fastball from lefty specialist Tim Mayza — broke up a tie game and proved to be the game-winning hit in the Mariners' 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays.
800 by Ryan Divish in Toronto. MOVED
^Padres believe Tatis will be even better when he learns to not go all out all the time<
BBN-PADRES-TATIS:SD — The postgame ice packs were more frequent and in more places.
It was clear Fernando Tatis Jr. was getting at least a little worn down and banged up.
On Tuesday, his back was sore. Yet before a swing on a foul ball made him wince in the midst of a sixth-inning strikeout, almost certainly his final at-bat of his rookie season, he had two hits — and took off trying to steal second base after the second of those two singles.
800 by Kevin Acee in Philadelphia. MOVED
^Rookie sensation Aquino homers again as Reds beat Cardinals, 6-1<
BBN-CARDINALS-REDS:SL — The Cardinals' Matt Carpenter and Cincinnati rookie Aristides Aquino each hit his 11th homer of the season Saturday night. The difference was that Carpenter's season has lasted nearly five months. Aquino's season has lasted just more than two weeks.
Another important difference was that Carpenter's homer in the second inning came with the bases empty. Aquino's 11th in 17 games since he was brought up from Louisville, came with runners on first and second in the fifth. That three-run, two-out blast to the center-field greenery off Miles Mikolas blew open a 2-1 game into a 6-1 Cincinnati victory.
600 by Rick Hummel in Cincinnati. MOVED
TNS expects coverage from the following games:
Detroit at Tampa Bay, 6:10 p.m.
San Diego at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.
Baltimore at Boston, 7:10 p.m.
NY Mets at Kansas City, 7:15 p.m.
LA Dodgers at Atlanta, 7:20 p.m.
Minnesota at Texas, 8:05 p.m.
San Francisco at Arizona, 8:10 p.m.
Miami at Colorado, 8:10 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at LA Angels, 9:07 p.m.
^Larry Stone: Seahawks QB today, tycoon tomorrow: Just call Russell Wilson 'Mr. Unlimited'<
FBN-STONE-COLUMN:SE — Last year, Russell Wilson somewhat facetiously introduced his alter-ego, "Mr. Unlimited," to counteract what he termed "the typical boring Russell, Robot Russell."
He explained, "You've got to have a thought process of being unlimited."
These days, it appears that "Mr. Unlimited" might accurately refer to Wilson's entrepreneurial ventures outside his main one, which is still being the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. You might recall that he re-upped with the Seahawks on this past Tax Day, April 15, for $149 million over four years
800 by Larry Stone in Seattle. MOVED
^Eagles lure Josh McCown out of retirement, sign QB to 1-year contract<
FBN-EAGLES-MCCOWN:PH — The Eagles signed veteran quarterback Josh McCown to a 1-year contract to backup Carson Wentz, an NFL source said Saturday.
McCown, an 18-year veteran, had retired this offseason. His deal is worth $2 million fully guaranteed and could be worth up to $5.4 million if certain incentives are met. The Eagles were down two healthy quarterbacks after Nate Sudfeld (broken wrist) and Cody Kessler (concussion) suffered injuries in their first two preseason games.
Adding McCown gives the team a viable backup option at least until Sudfeld returns in about six weeks.
300 by Jeff McLane in Philadelphia. MOVED
^Ryan Fitzpatrick likely to return to starting role for Dolphins in Thursday's preseason game vs. Jaguars<
FBN-DOLPHINS-FITZPATRICK:FL — The period of experimentation has apparently concluded.
The Miami Dolphins will use the third preseason game as a dress rehearsal for their Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the Baltimore Ravens, and coach Brian Flores said that he'll likely use Ryan Fitzpatrick as his first-team quarterback this coming week as Miami prepares to host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday at 8 p.m.
The decision reverses the course Miami embarked on this past week, putting Josh Rosen in with the first-team offense for the final joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday, and starting the 2018 first-round pick in Miami's 16-14 preseason loss to Tampa Friday night.
700 by Omar Kelly in Tampa, Fla. MOVED
^Giants rookie Daniel Jones making progress, but Eli Manning remains designated starting QB<
^FBN-GIANTS-QBS:ND—<Pat Shurmur insists that Daniel Jones will be ready when his time comes.
He also said that time is not upon us.
The Giants have made it clear, especially in recent days and from the very top of the organization, that Eli Manning is their starting quarterback heading into this season. Co-owner John Mara's vision of the 2019 campaign, he said earlier this week, is for Manning to play every snap, which would mean the Giants are winning, and also mean Jones never sees the field.
"Well, you heard it from the owner," Shurmur said of Plan A.
350 by Tom Rock. MOVED
^Jim Souhan: Vikings run themselves in circles trying to find a dependable kicker<
FBN-SOUHAN-COLUMN:MS — Twitter is underrated. The website sometimes contains more than overt bigotry, veiled bigotry and fan anger. Sometimes — research indicates at least once a year — Twitter brings us poetry.
This year's best stanza arrived on Wednesday from "What It Do Baybeee:"
"Will we see Vedvik hold a kick for himself sometime this season?"
This is either sublime satire or the primary subject of the next Vikings special teams meeting.
650 by Jim Souhan in Minneapolis. MOVED
^Ezekiel Elliott home from Cabo, won't face charges from Las Vegas incident<
^FBN-COWBOYS-ELLIOTT:FT—<Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has returned to Dallas from Cabo San Lucas.
And while he did not come home to a new contract — he is still holding out and there has been no progress on a new deal with the Cowboys — he has learned that he will not face criminal charges over his Las Vegas altercation with a security guard.
According to police documents, acquired by TMZ, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department met with prosecutors late last month and the prosecutors felt they could not move forward with charges against Elliott.
200 by Clarence E. Hill Jr. MOVED
^Browns sit Baker Mayfield, several other starters against Colts<
FBN-BROWNS-STARTERS:AK — Quarterback Baker Mayfield and several other Browns starters didn't play in Saturday's 21-18 win over the Indianapolis Colts in preseason game No. 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Coach Freddie Kitchens explained he was satisfied with what the Browns accomplished during joint practices with the Colts on Wednesday and Thursday at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Ind.
So on the heels of two intense, competitive practices, Kitchens decided to give some of his key players the night off rather than risk injury in an exhibition game.
700 by Nate Ulrich in Indianapolis. MOVED
^Stefan Bondy: Mikhail Prokhorov wasn't who he said he was, but he was good enough for Nets<
BKN-BONDY-COLUMN:NY — Mikhail Prokhorov arrived like a James Bond villain, a swashbuckler straight out of a private jet, ready to deliver grand proclamations, spend big money and needle James Dolan. (He once called the Knicks owner, "Little man.")
For the first few years of his ownership, Prokhorov was present and fun. He hung a billboard of himself and Jay-Z over Dolan's MSG reading "The Blueprint for Greatness." His press conferences were unique and entertaining, must-see TV for the deadpan one-liners and the broken-English bravado.
700 by Stefan Bondy in New York. MOVED
^At Penn State, talented underclassmen look to replace Miles Sanders as featured running back<
FBC-PENNSTATE-RUNNINGBACKS:PH — Penn State running backs have posted four consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Of course, it helps that Saquon Barkley accounted for three of them before becoming the NFL's offensive rookie of the year, and that Miles Sanders showcased his talent in his year as the primary ball carrier to persuade the Eagles to draft him in the second round.
Now a new, and younger, group of running backs is ready to succeed Sanders, a potent mix of speed and moves and strength that will make it difficult on opposing tacklers.
700 by Joe Juliano in State College, Pa. MOVED
^Colorado projects (funded by Pac-12) aim to reduce, and understand, concussions<
^FBC-COLORADO-CONCUSSIONRESEARCH:SJ—<U.S. Route 36 extends for more than 200 miles through the midsection of Colorado. In the center of the state, it's better known as the Denver-Boulder Turnpike, providing scenic views of the Flatirons to the northwest and downtown Denver to the southeast.
Given the potentially groundbreaking research underway at each end, a more appropriate moniker for the turnpike might be Head Trauma Highway.
1050 by Jon Wilner. MOVED
^Wade Lees will be a 31-year-old punter for UCLA this season<
FBC-UCLA-PUNTER:LA — He wouldn't be here now if just one thing didn't go so terribly wrong.
His single mother's back troubles that required five surgeries and forced him to drop out of high school to get a job installing utility pipes.
His suspension from Australian rules football for ordering a fat-burning product that contained traces of a banned substance.
His college teammate dying from heatstroke and his coach getting placed on indefinite leave only to be reinstated and dismissed the following day.
All of it led Wade Lees to UCLA.
1300 (with trims) by Ben Bolch in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Michael Cunningham: If NCAA really cared about safety, it would let athletes unionize<
^FBC-CUNNINGHAM-COLUMN:AT—<In 2017, the NCAA said it wanted to limit "repetitive head impact exposure" by football players during the preseason because of a possible link between those blows and concussions. It prohibited two-a-day practices while adding additional practice days. To track the effects of the rule changes, the NCAA initiated a study in which it measured the head impact sustained during preseason practices by 342 players from five FBS programs.
1250 by Michael Cunningham. MOVED
^Transfer portal offers relief for some, few answers for others<
FBC-USC-TRANSFERS:LA — Tell the truth. As Norman Steele saw it, it was all his son, Chris, could do. Explain to the NCAA exactly what went down at Florida to necessitate his transfer to USC. Then, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
"You just don't know what might happen," Norman said. "You don't know because it's up to their judgment call. We felt we had a pretty strong case, but you just never know."
For athletes weathering the NCAA's convoluted transfer and waiver processes, that crippling uncertainty is hardly uncommon.
1300 by Ryan Kartje in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Florida, Miami add new football home-and-home series<
FBC-FLORIDA-MIAMI-HOMEANDHOME:OS — The Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes have scheduled a home-and-home series for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, more than 20 years since the two schools last met during back-to-back regular seasons.
The last time the two longtime rivals scheduled a home-and-home series, Steve Spurrier was on the UF sideline and Miami was entering the final years of one of the greatest runs in college football. The Gators will host the Hurricanes in the Swamp in 2024 before heading to South Florida in 2025.
350 by Edgar Thompson and Mike Bianchi in Gainesville, Fla. MOVED
^Teddy Greenstein: The FedEx Cup playoffs are changing — again — and the new system will be both simpler and goofier<
GLF-GREENSTEIN-COLUMN:TB — Quick quiz: Who won the FedEx Cup playoffs last year?
If you're thinking Tiger Woods because you recall the sea of humanity that followed him to the 72nd green at East Lake, you'd be incorrect. Woods won the battle — the Tour Championship — but Justin Rose won the war. His war chest got a $10 million boost.
There will be no such split decision this time. One man will be crowned champion — and receive $15 million for his trouble.
500 by Teddy Greenstein in Medinah, Ill. MOVED
^Steve Hummer: Just admit it, next week at East Lake is about the money<
GLF-HUMMER-COLUMN:AT — Apparently, rather than award the winner of next week's FedEx Cup finale at East Lake $15 million, everyone would be just as happy with a big trophy, a hearty handshake and, perhaps, an Applebee's gift card.
That, according to Justin Thomas, who has taken the "it's-not-about-the-money" cliche to another level.
Asked this week about the huge bounty awaiting at the end of next Sunday at East Lake, Thomas declared, "I don't give a crap about the money. It's about winning tournaments."
850 by Steve Hummer in Medinah, Ill. MOVED
^Sue Bird doesn't want to admit it, but Storm star isn't likely to return from knee injury this season<
BKL-STORM-BIRD:SE — The prospects of Sue Bird returning from arthroscopic left knee surgery and leading the slumping Storm on a late playoff push are fading and virtually nonexistent at this point.
The defending WNBA champions haven't made any official or definitive decisions, but with just three weeks and seven games remaining in the regular season it's unlikely the 11-time All-Star will play in 2019.
"I haven't even entertained that," coach Dan Hughes said. "I think you just got to let life unfold in this situation. I'd like nothing better to coach Sue Bird soon, but I don't know the answer and I think life will play out in the right way."
750 by Percy Allen in Seattle. MOVED
^Bryce Miller: 'Isolated' Del Mar virus knocks out Omaha Beach, Game Winner, more<
RAC-MILLER-COLUMN:SD — Think of it as a first-grade classroom, where the first signs of coughing and sniffling send everyone racing for the Lysol.
When a virus circling some Del Mar barns knocked out two more horses to undercut a pair of big races in one cruddy, queasy lap Saturday, it penned another chapter in racing's daily struggle to regain its four-legged footing.
Trainer Richard Mandella confirmed that a bug chased down his star Omaha Beach, aimed for next weekend's Shared Belief Stakes and once the favorite in the Kentucky Derby. Ditto that for his solid 3-1 starter United in the day's $250,000 Del Mar Handicap, a "win and you're in" Breeders' Cup turf qualifier.
800 by Bryce Miller in Del Mar, Calif. MOVED
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