Month: August 2020

Month: August 2020

first_imgMixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor has appeared in court and been released on bail after being charged with assault and criminal mischief.The Irishman’s case was heard at Brooklyn Criminal Court, with bail set for $50,000 (£35,500).The former two-weight champion has not yet entered a plea and his next hearing is on 14 June.He was charged by New York City Police Department (NYPD) after an incident at a UFC media day.McGregor was one of a group alleged to have vandalised a bus containing rival fighters, the Ultimate Fighting Championship said.He turned himself into police custody at 21:00 local time on Thursday (02:00 BST on Friday). The incident occurred at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where the UFC had gathered to promote Saturday’s show, headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway.Holloway was later ruled out of the fight because he was medically unstable.McGregor, 29, was with fellow fighter Artem Lobov, who was due to fight featherweight Alex Caceres.”‹McGregor appeared at Brooklyn Criminal Court alongside his lawyer Jim Walden (right)The UFC says McGregor and Lobov – accompanied by more than a “dozen individuals” – attacked the bus. Footage appears to show McGregor throwing a trolley at the bus – smashing a window – followed by further altercations.UFC says two fighters were injured and have been withdrawn from Saturday’s undercard.Lightweight Michael Chiesa received several facial cuts, while flyweight Ray Borg suffered an eye injury.Lobov has also been removed from the bill, due to his alleged involvement.”The organisation deems today’s disruption completely unacceptable and is currently working on the consequences that will follow,” the UFC said. McGregor, who was beaten by Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match in August 2017, has not fought in the UFC since knocking out Eddie Alvarez in November 2016.Before Thursday’s incident, he was stripped of his UFC lightweight title for being inactive, with the winner of Nurmagomedov-Holloway taking the belt.last_img read more


Month: August 2020

first_imgMercedes driver Lewis Hamilton cruised to a comfortable victory in the Styrian Grand Prix.The world champion’s first victory of the year was founded on a stupendous performance in wet qualifying, in which he took pole by more than 1.2 seconds.Hamilton led from pole position, headed only at the pit-stops, as team-mate Valtteri Bottas overtook Red Bull’s Max Verstappen late on for second.The Ferraris retired early after colliding with each other on lap one.It was another dark day for the Italian team, after an uncompetitive showing in qualifying, as Charles Leclerc apologised for a rash move on the first lap that took out both cars. Another anti-racism protestHamilton led the majority of drivers in taking the knee ahead of the race – and then raised his fist in a black-power salute twice after the race, as he stood on the front of his car with his helmet still on, and again on the podium.The drivers’ pre-race anti-racism protest was not as well co-ordinated as it had been at the same track for the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, but the message was clear.A handful of drivers were not present for the moment ahead of the playing of the Styrian regional anthem, but all who were wore “end racism” T-shirts other than Hamilton’s, whose said “Black Lives Matter”.Of those who were there, only Charles Leclerc, Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat chose not to kneel.Hamilton celebrated his first win of the season by raising his fist on the podium, reminiscent of the 1968 Olympics, when two African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised a black-gloved fist during the US national anthemNo problems for Hamilton on trackHamilton, who has pledged to continue the fight against racism this year in parallel with his quest for a record-equalling seventh world title, was in total control of the race from the start. He converted his pole position into a lead at the first corner, survived an early safety car period following a collision between the two Ferrari drivers, and never looked back.The fight was all behind him, as Mercedes sought to get Bottas ahead of Verstappen.The Finn had qualified fourth in the rain, 1.4secs slower than Hamilton, passed McLaren’s Carlos Sainz by lap six, but was not able to make much progress towards the Red Bull.When Red Bull made Verstappen’s pit stop for fresh tyres on lap 24, Hamilton was brought in three laps later, while Bottas was left out 10 laps longer than the Dutchman.The aim was to give him a tyre off-set and greater pace at the end of the race. And it worked. Bottas crept up on Verstappen and was with him with five laps to go.Bottas looked to have the move down on the straight towards Turn Four on lap 66, but Verstappen fought back around the outside of the corner and held on to the place.But his valiant defence lasted only another lap before Bottas was able to storm past to complete a Mercedes one-two.He retains the championship lead over Hamilton, but it is now down to eight points.The Ferraris collide during the first-lap meleeCalamity for FerrariFerrari had worked flat out to bring upgrades to their car ahead of this race, after showing a dismal pace the week before. But they did not have the effect they had hoped and the cars could qualify only 10th and 11th. Leclerc started a further three places back after a three-place grid penalty for blocking in qualifying.But things got much worse in the race. Leclerc made an over-ambitious move up the inside of Turn Three on the first lap as Vettel was hemmed in on the outside and the two cars collided.Vettel’s rear wing was torn off and Leclerc suffered floor damage and both had to retire.Sergio Perez was passed by Lando Norris at the end of the grand prixFlying Racing PointsSergio Perez in particular and Racing Point in general did not have a good day in the wet in qualifying, with the Mexican down in 17th on the grid, but the so-called ‘Pink Mercedes’ was soon making up ground.The likes of McLaren and Renault said before the race that they were concerned about the Racing Point’s pace, and their worries were well founded. Perez picked off driver after driver in a car that has drawn criticisms because of its likeness to last year’s Mercedes – which Racing Point admit they have copied – until he was up into the top six after the pit stops.He passed Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault on lap 48, with just over 20 to go, and set off after Alexander Albon.Perez was soon with Albon, but while the Anglo-Thai had been having an unremarkable race in the second Red Bull, he picked up his pace and was able to hold Perez back.The Mexican finally made a bid for the position with two laps to go but came to grief as he tried to pass at Turn Four in a mirror of the collision between Hamilton and Albon at the same point last week.Perez was alongside Albon, on the inside, but the Red Bull driver tried to hang on around the outside of the turn and tagged Perez’s front wing on the exit. Perez limped around the remaining two laps, but was passed by McLaren’s Lando Norris for fifth at the final two corners of the last lap.Their scrap was part of a hectic midfield battle in the closing laps, as Norris took advantage of Perez’s team-mate Lance Stroll racing with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo for seventh and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, who qualified a brilliant third, faded in the race to finish ninth.Driver of the daySuperb as Hamilton was, let’s give it to Perez for his clinical drive up from the back of the grid, which included a superb overtaking move around the outside of the fast Turn Six on Ricciardo. A shame it came to grief in the collision with AlbonWhat happens next?The races are coming thick and fast in this coronavirus-interrupted season, and another follows this coming weekend, the Hungarian Grand Prix.What they saidLewis Hamilton: “Firstly big thank you to my team. What a weird year but great to be back driving with this kind of performance. The team did a fantastic job, it was just for me to bring it home. I tried to get fastest lap but not going to get it with 40-lap-old mediums compared to someone with fresh tyres.”Valtteri Bottas: “It was a good battle with him [Max Verstappen]. I had a bit more pace at the end than him. Racing so close is always good fun. It could’ve been more satisfying and I could’ve been more satisfied but I’m looking forward to next week.”Max Verstappen: “I tried to push for victory but we are just a bit too slow. I pushed as hard as I could. I tried to make it difficult for Valtteri to pass me, even though I knew he was going to get me the next lap. It was fun because the rest of the race was a bit boring.” Drivers took the knee or stood once again before the racelast_img read more


Month: August 2020

first_imgWithout a left-handed reliever for most of the season, Ausmus has often turned to Bedrosian to get an opponent’s most dangerous lefties. Bedrosian’s success against lefties and righties was one of the reasons that Ausmus liked him as an opener early in the season. Bedrosian then became too valuable as a late-inning pitcher to burn him in the first inning.Bedrosian, 27, said it’s been satisfying to finally have this kind of year, after dealing with injuries and inconsistency over the previous two and a half seasons.“I knew it was in there all along,” he said. “But there were a couple of injuries that threw a monkey wrench into things. I’m just trying to get to back to where I’m comfortable. This year has been pretty good.”UP NEXTAngels (LHP Andrew Heaney, 3-3, 4.31 ERA) vs. Rangers (LHP Mike Minor, 11-7, 3.17), Tuesday, 7:07 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter “Being able to throw that and put it where I want is definitely a big part of my game,” Bedrosian said. “It’s definitely helped having success this year.”Bedrosian needs the slider to be good because he has only two pitches. And ever since he suffered a groin injury in 2017, he’s lost some of his fastball velocity. Each year he’s increased the use of his slider. He’s up to 51 percent this year, marking the first year he’s thrown more sliders than fastballs.His fastball has also worked better than ever, even though the velocity hasn’t returned. From throwing 95 mph before he was hurt, he’s been hovering around 93 mph in the last three years. At times, he said regaining that velocity was a major point of emphasis.Now, though, the Angels have convinced him that he doesn’t need it because his fastball still has exceptional “hop.” Thanks to the better than average spin on his fastball, it doesn’t drop as much as fastballs with similar velocity. To hitters, that creates the illusion that it’s actually rising.Taking advantage of that, Bedrosian this year has gotten hitters to swing and miss at his fastball 24.7 percent of the time, the highest percentage of his career.The combination of the two pitches has made Bedrosian effective, especially against left-handers. For most of his career, Bedrosian has had normal splits, but this year he’s held lefties to a .168 average.“I don’t know,” Bedrosian said. “I think the breaking ball has definitely helped, being able to pinpoint it to both sides of the plate and up and down.”A hanging slider from a righty to a left-handed hitter can drop right into the hitter’s power zone, but Bedrosian has mostly been able to avoid that. He’s thrown more sliders to lefties this year than any year in his career.Related Articles Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone center_img ANAHEIM — Now that he’s nearly completed a bounceback season, in which the improvement of his slider has made him one of the Angels’ most consistent relievers, Cam Bedrosian can look back to the spring training drill that started it all.Doug White, in his first season as the Angels pitching coach, suggested that when Bedrosian was working on his slider while playing catch, he throw it at 90 feet instead of 60 feet.Simple as that.At 90 feet, there was more room for it to break, so Bedrosian could throw what he called “a big loopy one.” Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield “I want to feel that good break out of hand,” Bedrosian said. “I want to see it. And once I get into a game, I want to have that same kind of break, but it’s going to be harder, like a fastball.”Bedrosian said he’s been throwing those 90-foot sliders while playing catch almost every day during the season, and the result has been locking in the consistency of the pitch that is vital to his success.Bedrosian has a 2.85 ERA over 60 innings this season, including holding opponents to a career-best .193 batting average. That’s better than the .207 opponents hit against him in his injury-shortened breakthrough 2016, when he had a 1.12 ERA.“For me, the breaking ball has gotten much better from last year to this year, much more consistent sharp, down break,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “The fastball and the breaking ball line looks identical to the hitter and they have a lot of trouble deciphering which is which, and a lot of the times it’s too late, or they swing over the top of the breaking ball because they think it’s a fastball. It makes it difficult for both right-handers and left-handers.”According to Statcast, the break on Bedrosian’s slider has always been among the best in the majors, but this year he’s still getting better results. That could be because the pitch is breaking later or perhaps he’s commanding it better. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Month: August 2020

first_imgFrom the sound of it, Crawford kind of wanted to be with them when he was in Seattle prior to his move to L.A.“I’ve had so many different interactions with them,” Crawford said. “It wasn’t just in L.A. It was in Seattle, too. That’s why I went to L.A. because I was with the wrong crowd. I was coming home at 12 o’clock at night, at 11 years old, you know what I mean?”When Crawford moved to Los Angeles, he was in the last stages of middle school. He then attended Dorsey High for a couple of years, but didn’t play basketball. For one thing, he was getting the business from area gangs.“It wasn’t always the best experiences, and there were run-ins sometimes,” he said. “Some unwarranted, and sometimes that’s just the culture of where you’re at.”For another, Crawford admits he didn’t realize that one had to maintain academic standards in order to be eligible to play.“Before I went to high school, I didn’t even know you had to have a certain grade-point-average to play basketball,” he said. “You didn’t have to in middle school and that’s where you’re coming from. You’re young, you’re immature, you’re in the ninth grade.“It’s a whole new world. … So it’s, ‘Oh, man, I’m in high school now. I’m going to have fun.’ I wasn’t really the most focused. I changed that focused and things really turned around for me.”Crawford made it clear he was never initiated into a gang.“No, no, no, I was never in a gang, not at all,” he said. “I’ve always known people that are in gangs, but I was never in a gang myself.”Still, if he didn’t alter his ways, he never would have been able to play basketball for Rainier Beach after moving back to Seattle. Once he became academically eligible, he led the Vikings to a state title in 1998.“What I didn’t understand then,” Crawford said of his days at Dorsey, “I understood later on that I would have to really buckle down and focus more on school and basketball than anything else. Like, before I had a girlfriend or kids or friends, I had my basketball.“My love for basketball was deeper than anything else, and I just had to figure out the best route.”Without high school, the road to the NBA might have hit a big detour, or been closed altogether. But his metamorphosis helped lead him to Michigan, where he toiled just one year for the Wolverines. Even though he was suspended for a handful of games for improper interactions with a booster, he had shown well enough to enter the 2000 NBA draft — he was taken by Cleveland but traded to Chicago on draft day — after his freshman season.The rest, as they say, is history. Crawford, 34, averaged 18.6 in this, his 14th season. In 2007-08 as a starter with the New York Knicks, he averaged a career-high 20.6 points and has a career average of 15.6.And, like Brooks suggested, he is fully capable of taking over a given game.“I mean, just having Jamal on the court is great,” Clippers teammate Blake Griffin said. “He’s the guy you have to worry about when he’s shooting at a high percentage.”With all of his talent, Crawford is about as cool a cat as you’ll find in the NBA, which makes his story even better.“That comes from my parents,” he said. “They always stressed humility and being respectful. Always treat people the way you want to be treated, always look people in the eye.”Especially when he’s about to bury a 25-foot jumper in someone’s face. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Jamal Crawford is a dangerous player. The kind who can give defenders fits and opposing coaches anxiety.“He makes shots that you don’t think should go in,” said Scott Brooks, coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who will take on the Clippers 12:30 p.m. today at Staples Center in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series.Brooks was just getting started.“He can generate offense by playing isolation basketball and he’s a hard cover,” Brooks said of Crawford, who Friday received his second NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. “You put a smaller guy on him, he shoots over him. You put a bigger guy on him, he can get around him with some of his moves.center_img “He comes in, he gives them a spark and the guy can score anywhere from 15 to 35 points any given night, and that’s definitely a luxury that Doc has.”Clippers coach Doc Rivers says one of the things that makes Crawford so good is that he does more than score. But scoring is his best attribute. “He can score in his sleep,” Rivers said. “I never saw a guy who can sit for 15 minutes, literally be on the floor for half a second and swing the ball and he’s ready to shoot and makes the shot.”To think Crawford could have messed it all up long before he played just one year of college ball, long before he became a pro. Crawford remembers hanging with a sketchy crowd as early as 11 years old in Seattle. At the behest of his mother, he moved to South Central Los Angeles to live with his father, where he was hassled by local gangs, ahead of moving back to play ball at Rainier Beach High in Seattle.“Yeah, I mean, gangs are basically everywhere,” Crawford said. “And you’re around them in some way, shape or form whether you’re trying to be or not trying to be.”last_img read more


Month: August 2020

first_imgBefore I left for Lakers practice on Monday morning, I nearly forgot to stop for my coronavirus test — after a week of people coming to my door the same time every afternoon, scheduling it myself seemed foreign even though I had been looking forward to it for some time. When you consider how new every part of this is to everyone here, and many people watching it take shape close up are feeling the same kind of whiplash, it’s tremendous to consider how much is already done.The NBA is not officially disclosing how many people are on campus (and that number does fluctuate). But once I was released from quarantine, I was surprised to realize there’s a lot more people here than I thought: technicians and equipment people; team attendants and sanitizers; security dressed head to toe in protective gear including face shields; gardeners and hotel staff.Think of the systems that hold these people, not all of whom are being tested daily, in check. Not everyone lives on campus, which creates a dizzying number of security clearances and levels that are all monitored by an array of systems including the Disney MagicBand. The NBA has designed several novel apps to help guide people through the logistics of this one event. Bioreference turns over tests in less than a day (and yes, I’m not forgetting this is probably ethically ambiguous).Branding is all over the place, with flags and basketballs adorning campus areas with team logos. While I saw a pile of signs strewn lying down in one of the back corridors of The Arena at the Wide World of Sports Complex, waiting to be propped up to show where various locations are in the building, many of the decorative elements of the restart are already posted — as if a legion of paying ticket holders were going to walk through the green gates of the complex any minute.Taken in totality, it seems miraculous that so far, the NBA seems to be pulling this off — which many people on campus have expressed to me, including some employed by the NBA. Consider that All-Star Weekend is planned over years. This is an entire playoff run, where people are living on campus and receiving daily tests for coronavirus.  Editor’s note: This is the Tuesday, July 21 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter from inside the NBA Bubble. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here. LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was the NBA bubble. But in just about two months, there’s been a hell of a lot done.In my first two days in the NBA bubble, I’ve seen the extremely polished-looking television set-up on the court, with digital walls that might one day project virtual images of fans. I’ve seen courts and weight rooms assembled in convention centers and practice gyms, surrounded by cubicle-like temporary walls but no less functional than a typical in-arena facility.That was one of my first impressions after getting out of a week of isolation in quarantine, which felt like a sensory explosion. I found myself struggling on my first day to keep track of the varied schedules of seven practice venues with 22 different teams, figuring which bus to take when, and which entrance to use. There is a risk of wandering off into an area technically outside of the bubble, which can land you back in quarantine (please, no). It’s not to say that the NBA is nearing the finish line — in the most important sense, they haven’t even crossed the start. But there are significant components that are already in place. With a few exceptions, players have almost universally opted in and are actually in Florida (which at one time was not a guarantee), and the NBA happily announced zero new COVID cases since July 13, which was the goal but not necessarily a sure thing. What will become clear to people outside the bubble soon, however, is how much is still left to be done. That’s translated into minor issues out here so far, such as  finding convoluted routes to locations that are nearby because one zone is for people in the bubble and allows for outsiders. People are still figuring out where they can go, what’s allowed, what’s safe. Because distancing procedures must be followed, everything requires slightly more time, from boarding buses to filling arena seats. Every time I swipe my MagicBand to enter a work arena, I find myself muttering for a green light — because a blue light means that there’s some discrepancy in your health file, either a missed test, symptoms check or maybe just a technical glitch, that could delay you.On television, that could translate to players and staff seeming unclear on different health protocols (while the league is trying to move away from dapping up, I’ll admit that I’ve done a few elbow taps in the bubble, and it’s common enough). It could translate to technical issues as robotic cameras and unmanned equipment is tested live. Interviews done over screens in postgame could seem more impersonal and less engaging to viewers. It’s going to be a little disorienting, and I’ll write more about that soon.I do know that for a lot of us, entering the Lakers practice court for the first time since March 11 felt somewhat normalizing. This isn’t to say that the issues outside the bubble are somehow better off because of basketball — only to acknowledge the comfort of familiar sounds: sneaker squeaks, ball bounces, clapping and shouting from coaches and the bench. In an environment without fans radically different from any NBA we’ve seen, it’s worth wondering if the game itself can help ground how people receive it. It will be a fascinating few weeks. A common line from event organizers here is “thank you for your patience.” It will be intriguing to follow if NBA fans will have similar appreciation for what the NBA has already done — or if the areas where the experience isn’t the same will gnaw away at that indulgence.– Kyle GoonEditor’s note: Thanks for reading the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter from inside the NBA Bubble. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.From the Bubble‘Nothing is normal in 2020.’ – LeBron talked about dealing with change and summed up the year for us all.No new COVID cases – There have been zero player cases in the bubble since July 13.Safety isn’t guaranteed – The case number is a victory, but the NBA knows it’s only the start and they need attendees to stay vigilant.Remembering Breonna Taylor – How the Louisville EMT killed in March has become a rallying point for NBA players who care about social justice and Black lives.Reflecting on quarantine – I certainly don’t want to do it again, but you can revisit the experience from our last newsletter.Follow along on Instagram – I’m sharing stories from the Bubble in a different way, and you can check it out here.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Month: August 2020

first_imgWhile Clippers coach Doc Rivers was philosophical about Williams’ out-of-the-bubble activities and the price he’s paying for it — “Lou obviously made a mistake, but he wasn’t intending to make a mistake,” the coach said — Perkins was more critical of the 15-year veteran.“I done been to Magic City, the wings are fire,” Perkins said on the program “Get Up.” “But in this case, in all seriousness, c’mon, Lou Will, you gotta do better, man. During this pandemic, you have to do better.”Perkins then tweeted out the clip, adding: “It’s disturbing when a Rookie in Zion Williamson can act more Mature than NBA vet Lou Williams!!!”Williams tweeted back: “15 years in this business and the most dirt you have on my name is stopping to get hot wings during a pandemic. Perk. Shut up. And stop laughing and saying it’s just tv when you run into me too.”Perkins rebutted: “To small homeboy … stay in your lane lil fella!!! #outtamyweightclass.” Still shorthanded, the Clippers welcomed back center Ivica Zubac, who said he was happy to rejoin his teammates on the floor for 13 minutes Monday, their first action together since he tested positive for the coronavirus before July 4.But while the Clippers went through the paces in preparation of Thursday’s big restart opener against the Lakers, a more heated back and forth was happening off the court — on Twitter.Kendrick Perkins, the retired NBA player who’s now an ESPN analyst, scolded Lou Williams on air and via tweet for the guard’s trip to an Atlanta gentlemen’s club, reportedly to order food, while he was excused from the bubble to pay his final respects to a loved one who died recently.Williams and a handful of his teammates and former teammates retorted, tweeting in defense of Williams, who was met with a 10-day quarantine upon his return to the bubble. That ruling means the three-time Sixth Man of the Year will miss the first two of the Clippers’ eight seeding games at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img That got the attention of Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, who currently is outside of the bubble dealing with a family matter. “Big Perk, what you not gone do is talk wild to the OG, when you don’t got all the facts,” Harrell tweeted.Soon, Patrick Beverley also tweeted at Perkins, and former Clippers Sindarius Thornwell and Jerome Robinson, now respectively with New Orleans and Washington, tweeted about him.“That says everything about Lou,” said Zubac, who reported that he felt tired for a few days when he had the coronavirus, but didn’t otherwise have symptoms. “I played with Lou in my rookie year with the Lakers. I’ve been here with Lou for a while now, and Lou was my bud. He’s been a great guy. Everywhere I’ve played with him, he’s … one of the most liked guy in the whole organization. He’s always trying to get everyone together on the road.”The Clippers’ challenge now: Getting everyone together on the court.Williams still will be quarantined when the Clippers face off with the Lakers in the restart opener Thursday (6 p.m., Fox Sports Prime Ticket, TNT), and it’s unsure whether Harrell is expected to be back in the bubble by then.Otherwise, Rivers said he expects the Clippers to have Landry Shamet available Thursday and described Beverley’s participation as “probably a maybe.”Beverley returned Sunday from an excused absence to attend to a personal matter and reportedly will have to quarantine for four days before he can rejoin his team. Shamet, whose Instagram feed documented his arrival in Florida this weekend, was on the bench Monday but didn’t play.“I just know that we know we’re behind,” said Rivers before the Clippers lost 106-102 to Sacramento in their third and final warmup, in which Kawhi Leonard — 12 of 46 from the field during scrimmage play — logged 30 minutes and finally found a groove late en route to 17 points on 6-of-22 shooting.“We know that a lot of teams have had their guys throughout. We haven’t. We’ve had up to five of our key players out — six, at one point. So it’s not been the way we planned it when we got here, but things don’t go as planned all the time and you’ve got to adjust, and I think our team is doing that.”As for Williams’ lengthy league-mandated quarantine: “I don’t know if it’s fair or not. I just know intent,” Rivers said. “Lou obviously made a mistake, but he wasn’t intending to make a mistake, you know? So we get over things pretty quickly here. We know why we’re here. Lou knows why we’re here, so we move on.“I didn’t look at it as a suspension or anything like that. I just looked at it as they know he was in the public, so that’s the protocol. That’s about it.”last_img read more


Month: August 2020

first_imgWright, who turns 39 on Tuesday, went 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA last season with the Tampa Bay Rays. He was not re-signed by the Dodgers after going 5-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 66 appearances in 2012.The Dodgers already committed $18.5 million next season to two set-up men in 2014 — Brian Wilson and Brandon League, both former closers themselves. Between Wilson, League and Perez, the Dodgers have 377 career saves sitting in the bullpen before giving the ball to ninth-inning man Kenley Jansen.That gives the Dodgers the most experienced, and arguably the deepest, bullpen in the majors. Left-handers J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez and Onelki Garcia, and right-handers Jose Dominguez and Chris Withrow, all figure to compete for innings in spring training. Perez also has a connection to Los Angeles. In September, he pleaded no contest in Ohio to a misdemeanor drug abuse charge and was found guilty of receiving a small package of marijuana mailed to his home — reportedly from Los Angeles — on June 4.In September 2012, Perez stirred the pot by criticizing the Indians’ ownership regime for its frugality. He should be happy with his new bosses. The Dodgers have committed roughly $200 million to 19 players for next season, including the recently agreed-to contracts for third baseman Juan Uribe and Howell. Last year, the team reportedly spent $237 million on payroll. Of that, less than 10 percent — somewhere in the $13 to $15 million range — went to full-time relievers. That percentage could increase significantly in 2014.The additions of Perez and Wright would give the Dodgers the maximum 40 players on their major-league roster. The Dodgers will put the finishing touches on their bullpen by signing former Cleveland Indians right-hander Chris Perez and an old friend, Jamey Wright, according to multiple reports Monday.Financial terms have not been reported for the contracts, which would not become official until each pitcher passes a physical.Perez started the 2013 season 17-for-19 in save opportunities with a 2.52 earned-run average through his first 35 2/3 innings. Then in an Aug. 5 game against the Detroit Tigers, Perez allowed four earned runs without recording an out. He would go on to allow 16 earned runs over his final 18 1/3 innings as an Indian.The right-hander finished the season with a 4.33 ERA and five blown saves in 30 opportunities.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Month: August 2020

first_imgDIAMONDBACKS at DODGERSWhen: 7:10 p.m.Where: Dodger StadiumTV: SportsNet LA Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error THE PITCHERSDODGERS LHP ALEX WOOD (9-0, 1.83 ERA)Vs. Diamondbacks: 3-3, 3.60 ERAAt Dodger Stadium: 11-2, 1.77 ERAHates to face: Jeff Mathis, 4 for 12 (.333), 1 double, 1 home runcenter_img Loves to face: Jake Lamb, 1 for 6 (.167), 3 strikeoutsDIAMONDBACKS RHP ZACK GODLEY (3-2, 2.67 ERA)Vs. Dodgers: 0-0, 2.45 ERAAt Dodger Stadium: 0-0, 3.38 ERAHates to face: Joc Pederson, 1 for 3 (.333), 1 doubleLoves to face: Justin Turner, 0 for 6, 2 strikeoutsUPCOMINGThursday: Diamondbacks (LHP Robbie Ray, 8-4, 3.06 ERA) at Dodgers (LHP Rich Hill, 5-4, 4.00 ERA), 7:10 p.m., SportsNet LAlast_img read more


Month: August 2020

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw isn’t always expansive in his postgame interviews. Facing live batters Wednesday for the first time in more than a month, he took the concept of a “simulated game” to heart.After throwing two innings against teammates Chase Utley, Rob Segedin and Joc Pederson, Kershaw glided past a group of reporters in the third-base dugout at Dodger Stadium. He turned his head, briefly.“Everything is great,” Kershaw said. “I feel good. I’ve got another sim game in five days.”With that, Kershaw let out a primal “woo!” and continued his glide down the steps into the Dodgers’ clubhouse. Kershaw’s last pitch to a live batter was July 23 against Atlanta, an outing that ended after two innings due to a strained muscle in his lower back. These two innings went more smoothly.Segedin made the cleanest contact of any batter, lofting a low fly ball to left-center field. Kershaw recorded a couple strikeouts, or he would have if catcher Yasmani Grandal had the same authority as an umpire. He threw 38 pitches in all.“Execution wasn’t I think where Clayton might have wanted,” Manager Dave Roberts said, “but it was good.”Roberts watched Kershaw’s simulated game on the field along with Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, and head athletic trainer Neil Rampe. Unless Kershaw is in Pittsburgh, Roberts won’t be able to watch the next simulated game in person. That outing will last three innings and 45 pitches, Roberts said.Kershaw, 15-2 with a 2.04 earned-run average, is expected back with the Dodgers on or around Sept. 1. Lineup shuffleIn his 332nd career game, Kiké Hernandez took a rare turn as the Dodgers’ cleanup hitter. It’s only the third time he has occupied that position in the batting order. All three games have come this season.The reason was two-fold. Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers’ usual cleanup hitter, was not in the starting lineup for the first time since July 6. To Roberts, Hernandez was the most logical replacement. He hit two home runs against Carlos Rodon, Wednesday’s starting pitcher, back on July 19 in Chicago.Rob Segedin made his return to the Dodgers’ lineup as the number-8 hitter. He followed Logan Forsythe, Austin Barnes and Yasiel Puig respectively against the left-handed Rodon.Hawkins diesTommy Hawkins, who worked as vice president of communications during a career in the Dodgers’ front office from 1987 to 2004, died on Wednesday morning. He was 80.An original member of the Los Angeles Lakers, Hawkins died in his sleep at home in Malibu, his son Kevin told The Associated Press.Injury updatesAdrian Gonzalez played his final minor league rehabilitation game with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. He got the start at first base, and Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier started in left field, against the Stockton Ports.Gonzalez will be the Dodgers’ designated hitter during one of the three games against the Detroit Tigers, Roberts said. Gonzalez, 35, had a .255 batting average with one home run and 23 RBI in 49 games with the Dodgers before he was placed on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his back.Pitcher Grant Dayton will begin a rehab assignment in the coming days, Roberts said. The left-hander is expected to make about five rehab appearances before he returns, Roberts said, including stints with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Month: August 2020

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Roberts might have fewer of those conversations this season. The trade of Kemp and Puig coupled with the signing of A.J. Pollock and the Dodgers’ professed desire to have Bellinger in the lineup every day (in right field most likely) will limit the platooning.Muncy and Freese could share playing time at first base. Joc Pederson was very successful as the left-handed piece of a left-field platoon and slots into the same role this season.Kike’ Hernandez and Taylor might split the playing time at second base and Russell Martin and Austin Barnes will be the tandem at catcher. But all four are right-handed batters and factors other than platoon splits will decide playing time.“Obviously, from an organizational standpoint, as many guys that you have who are really good against left-handed and right-handed pitching, is great,” Friedman said last fall. “It’s great for roster construction. It’s great for winning games. It’s great for having balance. It’s great for having depth in case someone gets hurt.”JOINING INThe Dodgers are “slow-playing” second-year right-hander Walker Buehler this spring after he pitched 177 innings last year (combined between the minors, majors and postseason). He is the only one of the Dodgers’ starting pitchers who didn’t thrown a bullpen session during the first week of camp (some have thrown two).Buehler said he had already thrown off a mound four times in his workouts before reporting to camp. Roberts said Sunday Buehler has started his formal throwing program and could throw a bullpen session during Wednesday’s workout.ALSORight-hander Ross Stripling eased back into workouts Saturday and Sunday after dealing with an upper respiratory illness during the first week of camp. Roberts said he expects Stripling to be a full participant for Monday’s workout.Freese and non-roster invitee Ezequiel Carrera were in camp Sunday, the last position players to arrive. Position players are not required to report until Monday with the first full-squad workout scheduled for Tuesday. But that was last season.“There was a certain narrative on us platooning last year,” Roberts said. “That was kind of for survival. … The model isn’t necessarily to platoon. It’s just the way it worked out last year.”Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has said the same thing, calling necessity “the driver” behind last season’s platooning not an overall philosophy that requires it. Last year, the Dodgers were driven to it by Yasiel Puig’s continued poor performance against left-handed pitching (a .209 batting average and .628 OPS against lefties last year), Cody Bellinger’s regression against them, particularly in the first half (he had a .903 OPS against lefties as a rookie, .681 last year), Matt Kemp’s second-half decline and Max Muncy’s much milder second-half downturn against lefties.That left the Dodgers vulnerable against left-handed pitching and led to trades for right-handed hitters Manny Machado, Brian Dozier and David Freese. The resulting roster led to some difficult conversations and unhappy players, Roberts acknowledged.“There’s always going to be the desire to be out there,” he said. “So however you preface a season — which is unpredictable — when guys are in the midst of it, they want to play. I really don’t think there’s going to be a peace or acceptance of it. When you have a lot of good players, that’s going to be — call it, the downside — because there’s going to be some tougher conversations and acceptance.”center_img GLENDALE, Ariz. >> It was not a popular approach — not with fans, not with players and really not even with the manager who had to convince former All-Stars to buy in.“Yeah. It was the toughest year for me,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the aggressive platooning the Dodgers adopted down the stretch and into the postseason last year.“There was a lot of trying to find consistency with at-bats for players and there was a lot of trying to keep guys active and relevant. There’s no exact science. For me to find whatever gives us the best chance to win, I have to default to that every day.”The Dodgers used 28 different players at the eight positions (pitcher excluded), the most in the National League. Only two players (Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor) got more than 520 plate appearances — the lowest number of any NL team. No team in the majors used more pinch-hitters (362) or had fewer complete games at an individual position (910) than the Dodgers last season.last_img read more