=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Wednesday, April 23rd ===
=== NFL announces 2014 schedule ===
New York, NY (Sports Network) - The National Football League released its 2014
regular-season schedule on Wednesday.
It will open with the Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks hosting the
Green Bay Packers on Thursday, Sept. 4 at what's sure to be a raucous
CenturyLink Field celebrating the franchise's first title.
Kickoff weekend features 13 games on Sept. 7, with the first Sunday primetime
matchup pitting Peyton Manning against a familiar foe as he leads the reigning
AFC-champion Denver Broncos opposite the Indianapolis Colts at Sports
Authority Field at Mile High. Manning, of course, was the Colts' starting
quarterback for 13 years before neck surgery and the arrival of Andrew Luck
ended his memorable tenure in Indy in 2012.
The Thanksgiving games pit three division rivals against each other for the
first time. The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions get things started with an NFC
North clash, the reigning NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles visit the
Dallas Cowboys and the Seahawks collide with the San Francisco 49ers in a
rematch of last year's NFC title game at new Levi's Stadium.
The participants in last season's AFC championship game -- the Broncos and
Patriots -- square off in a Week 9 showdown in Foxborough.
London will get three contests this season with Miami-Oakland on Sept. 28,
Detroit-Atlanta on Oct. 26 and Dallas-Jacksonville on Nov. 9.
Byes for teams go from Week 3 through Week 12.
The league made a change in its flex scheduling, where times of games can be
changed for Sunday night matchups, moving it up from Week 11 all the way to
Once again, every Week 17 contest will pit divisional opponents against one
another, with all games to be held on Sunday, Dec. 28.
Wild Card weekend is set for January 3-4, with the divisional round the
following weekend. The AFC and NFC championship games will be played Sunday,
Super Bowl XLIX is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona at
University of Phoenix Stadium.
=== Trufant to retire as member of Seahawks ===
Renton, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Marcus Trufant's 10-year NFL career is coming
to an end.
The Seattle Seahawks, the only team Trufant played for, announced the signing
of the cornerback Wednesday and said he intends to retire Thursday.
Trufant, 33, a Washington State product and first-round draft pick in 2003,
played in 12 games in his final season in 2012, starting just two. He signed
with Jacksonville in May of last year, but was released before playing in a
regular-season game with the Jaguars.
A 2007 Pro Bowl selection, Trufant started 125 games with the Seahawks and
finished his career with 644 tackles 21 interceptions.
=== Cards LB Washington receives probation ===
Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl
Washington was sentenced to a year of probation Wednesday after previously
pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated assault.
The charge stemmed from an altercation Washington had with the mother of his
daughter last May. According to police reports, the four-year veteran grabbed
the woman by her throat and shoved her to ground, causing her to fracture her
Washington had entered a guilty plea back in March.
The 27-year-old could still face discipline from NFL Commissioner Roger
Goodell if found to be in violation of the league's personal conduct policy.
Washington was suspended for the first four games of last season for a
substance abuse infraction.
One of the Cardinals' top defensive players, Washington was named to the Pro
Bowl in 2012 after amassing 134 tackles and a career-best nine sacks. The 2010
second-round pick recorded 75 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and 11
passes defensed in just 12 games this past season.
=== Jets returning to Cortland for training camp ===
Florham Park, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Jets will again return to
SUNY Cortland for training camp this summer.
It will mark the fifth time in the last six years that the Jets will conduct
their training camp at the school's campus in central New York state.
"I love the fact that we are going back to Cortland," said Jets coach Rex Ryan
in a statement Wednesday. "Everyone knows how I feel about going away. I think
it is a big part of building our team camaraderie. The community, the school
and the people of Cortland have been outstanding and we are all excited to be
going back this summer."
The lone year in the past six that the Jets did not travel for training camp
was 2011 because of the labor issue.
=== Bears sign RB Draughn ===
Lake Forest, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bears have signed running
back Shaun Draughn to a one-year contract.
Draughn appeared in three games for the Baltimore Ravens last season and ran
for two yards on four carries. He also returned two kickoffs for 53 yards.
The 26-year-old North Carolina product also spent two seasons with the Kansas
City Chiefs. He saw his most extensive playing time in 2012, rushing for 233
yards and two touchdowns with a 3.9-yard average in 16 games, adding 24
catches and returning 23 kickoffs for a 23.3-yard average.
=== Pineda ejected for pine tar use ===
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - This time, Michael Pineda couldn't get away
with using a foreign substance.
The New York Yankees pitcher was ejected in the bottom of the second inning of
Wednesday's game against the Boston Red Sox after being found to have pine tar
on the side of his neck.
With two out and Grady Sizemore batting in the bottom of the second, home
plate umpire Gerry Davis was requested by Red Sox manager John Farrell to
check the right-hander for illegal materials on his body.
Davis touched a brownish substance that appeared to be pine tar on the right
side of the pitcher's neck and immediately tossed him from the game, which
Boston eventually won by a 5-1 score.
Pineda was also was embroiled in controversy when he faced the Red Sox at
Yankee Stadium earlier this month, as television cameras showed the hurler
with a brown substance on his right palm. No protests were made by Farrell
during that game, in which Pineda held Boston to one run over six innings in a
4-1 Yankees win.
The 25-year-old told reporters afterward that the material was simply dirt
that had gotten stuck to his hand.
Pineda allowed two runs in the first inning prior to his ejection and was
handed the loss.
=== Rangers place Figueroa on DL ===
Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers have placed pitcher Pedro
Figueroa on the 15-day disabled list because of left elbow inflammation.
Figueroa threw one pitch in Tuesday's game against Oakland and hit a batter
before leaving the contest. The lefty is 2-1 with a 4.00 ERA in 10 relief
appearances this season.
The Rangers also acquired outfielder Dan Robertson from the San Diego Padres
in exchange for cash considerations and purchased Robertson's contract from
Triple-A to fill Figueroa's roster spot.
Robertson, who had spent his entire pro career in San Diego's minor league
system since 2008, is a career .304 hitter in 723 games. He was batting .364
with two homers in five games for Triple-A El Paso after starting the year on
the disabled list due to a shin contusion.
=== Padres P Johnson headed for TJ surgery ===
Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - San Diego Padres pitcher Josh Johnson will
undergo Tommy John surgery Thursday after a recent exam revealed damage to the
ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Johnson will meet with noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. to
have the procedure for the second time in his career. Andrews also performed
the previous operation, which took place when Johnson was with the Marlins in
Signed to a one-year, $8 million contract by the Padres over the winter,
Johnson's 2014 campaign ends without having thrown a regular-season pitch with
his new team. He was placed on the disabled list during spring training after
developing a strained flexor muscle in his forearm.
Johnson also spent two stints on the DL with elbow problems while with the
Toronto Blue Jays last season, with the injuries contributing to the two-time
All-Star's 2-8 record and subpar 6.20 ERA over 16 starts.
The 30-year-old had once been one of the National League's best pitchers
during his tenure with the Marlins, posting a 15-5 record with 191 strikeouts
in 2009 and leading the NL with a 2.30 ERA the following season.
=== Red Sox option OF Nava ===
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Red Sox optioned outfielder
Daniel Nava to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalled pitcher Alex Wilson on
Nava has struggled this season hitting .149 with two doubles, two home runs,
three RBI and seven runs scored in 17 games. The 31-year-old has split his
time with the Red Sox in right field, left field, and at first base.
Wilson, who was the first pitcher from Saudi Arabia to appear in a major
league game, has pitched eight scoreless innings for Pawtucket this season.
Last season, he made his major league debut and went 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA in 26
games with the Red Sox.
=== Phils activate Hamels to face Dodgers ===
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole
Hamels was activated off the disabled list to start Wednesday night's game
against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hamels, who was 8-14 with a 3.60 earned-run average last year, will make his
first start of the season after sitting out the first three-plus weeks with
He was sent on a rehab assignment to Class-A Clearwater and made three starts
with a 2.12 ERA and 0-1 record.
The Phillies optioned right-hander B.J. Rosenberg to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
=== Arizona OF Trumbo has stress fracture ===
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Mark Trumbo
has a stress fracture in his left foot.
Trumbo, who returned to Phoenix for a second opinion from team doctor Michael
Lee, homered in the seventh inning of Monday's 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs at
Wrigley Field. Trumbo then grounded out in the ninth inning, and he hasn't
taken an at-bat since.
Trumbo had an X-ray on Tuesday, which didn't reveal the break, but an MRI a
day later showed the stress fracture along with plantar fasciitis, which
Trumbo has been dealing with since spring training. He's expected to be
sidelined for an extended period of time.
In 21 games this season, Trumbo is batting .210 with seven homers and 19 RBI.
He landed in Arizona as part of a three-team trade involving the White Sox and
Angels on Dec. 10 that sent Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton to Chicago
and pitcher Tyler Skaggs to Los Angeles.
The 28-year-old slugger had spent his first four big league seasons with the
Angels. He posted career-highs of 34 homers and 100 RBI over 159 games in 2013
despite batting just .234 with a whopping 184 strikeouts.
=== Jackson dispels notion of Dolan interference ===
Greenburgh, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - New York Knicks president Phil Jackson
said the report of interference by owner Jim Dolan in personnel moves is
A report in the New York Daily News on Wednesday said Dolan and Jackson have
already clashed over personnel decisions. The paper cited a team source as
saying Jackson would like to change certain staff members, but has been
opposed by Dolan.
When Jackson was hired in March, Dolan said the 11-time NBA champion coach
would make decisions on all basketball-related matters.
Jackson met with media members Wednesday at the team's practice facility to
discuss his first major move as team president, the firing of head coach Mike
Woodson and what he is looking for in a new coach, but was also asked about
the Daily News story.
"As far as Jim Dolan's promise or his premise when I took this job's he's
going to leave basketball decisions up to me, really, he's been loyal to that
promise," Jackson said. "He's been very true to his word to this point."
The Daily News story didn't specify what staff changes Jackson wanted to make.
Jackson said Wednesday he won't return to the bench as Knicks coach and did
confirm that current TNT analyst Steve Kerr is a likely candidate for the
=== Phoenix's Dragic named Most Improved Player ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Phoenix's Goran Dragic was named the NBA's
Most Improved Player for the 2013-14 season on Wednesday.
Dragic received 65 first-place votes and 408 points from a panel of 126
sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.
Indiana's Lance Stephenson finished second with 158 points, while New Orleans'
Anthony Davis was third with 155 points.
Dragic, a five-year veteran, averaged a career-best 20.3 points, 5.9 assists
and 3.2 rebounds per game this season to help the Suns to a 48-34 record -- a
23-win improvement from the season prior. The 6-foot-4 guard came into the
season with a scoring average of 9.5 points per game over his career.
Indiana Pacers swingman Paul George was last year's winner.
=== Heat commit to Miami through 2040 ===
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Heat announced Wednesday they have made a
commitment to remain in Miami through the 2039-40 NBA season.
The announcement came through a letter from managing partner Micky Arison, who
said the team came to an agreement with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos
Gimenez. The deal is subject to the approval of the Board of County
Commissioners and would extend the club's partnership with the county to stay
at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Part of the agreement says the Heat will make an annual guaranteed payment to
the county, and Arison said in the letter that "the agreement provides cost
certainty for the franchise, a necessity in this age of punitive NBA luxury
taxes, and will allow us to more proactively plan our future basketball
spending and maintain our commitment to all of you to put the best possible
product on the floor."
According to Arison, the agreement provides an inflation-adjusted operating
subsidy from the county's CDT (convention development tax) fund to the arena
during a 10-year extension term totaling $147 million.
"That will allow us to continue doing what we've always done: reinvest in the
county-owned AmericanAirlines Arena in order to maintain the level of
excellence you've come to expect," Arison wrote.
The Board of County Commissioners is expected to vote on the pact May 6.
The two-time defending NBA-champion Heat have a 2-0 lead on Charlotte in their
Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
=== Wild n' out: Cooke suspended seven games ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The National Hockey League issued a seven-
game suspension to Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke on Wednesday.
Cooke was only assessed a minor for kneeing Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie
just over two minutes into the second period of Monday's 1-0 Minnesota
victory in Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals, but Barrie was
later diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament and is scheduled to
miss 4-to-6 weeks.
The league announced shortly after the contest was over that Cooke was
scheduled to have an in-person hearing with the Department of Player Safety,
an indicator that the punishment would last for five games at the minimum.
That hearing occurred at league offices earlier in the day.
A key stipulation of the punishment is if Cooke's full suspension is not fully
served during the current playoffs, the remaining games will be tacked onto
the beginning of the 2014-15 regular season.
Game 4 in the best-of-seven set between the Wild and Avalanche is scheduled
for Thursday in St. Paul.
"Cooke is leading with his left knee. After Barrie releases the puck, Cooke
continues in this posture, further extends his knee, and makes contact with
Barrie's left knee. The play is in front of Cooke, from the moment he steps on
the ice and begins striding towards Barrie, well before impact is made,"
the league stated in a video explanation of the suspension.
"The onus is on Cooke to ensure that any check he attempts is executed
legally, and through the core of Barrie's body. Barrie takes evasive action
and moves to his right in an attempt to avoid contact."
The 35-year-old winger has been suspended six previous times for various
offenses during his 15-year NHL career, with the last coming in the spring of
2011. That was a 17-game ban (10 regular-season games and the entirety of the
Penguins' first-round series against Tampa Bay) for a blatant elbow to the
head of Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
Despite his history of supplemental discipline, Cooke is not considered a
"repeat offender" from a financial standpoint since his last suspension
occurred more than 18 months ago.
=== Selanne to sit for Game 4 ===
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne will
not be in the lineup as his club takes on the Stars for Game 4 of their
Western Conference quarterfinal on Wednesday night.
"Bruce told me before practice yesterday. We lost last game, so a lot of the
times the lineup is going to be different," Selanne said. "I'm obviously
disappointed right now, but it's Bruce's decision and we'll go from there."
Selanne has contributed one assist in the first three games, and was held
scoreless during a 3-0 loss in Monday's contentious Game 3 that provided
Dallas with its first win in the best-of-seven set.
Emerson Etem will take the 43-year-old's spot in the lineup, which will be his
first appearance in these playoffs. The 21-year-old posted seven goals and 11
points in 29 games for the Ducks during the regular season.
In addition, Mark Fistric will start in place of defenseman Stephane Robidas,
who sustained a fractured right leg in the previous contest.
=== MacKinnon, Johnson, Palat named Calder finalists ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon and Tampa Bay
teammates Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat have been named the finalists for the
Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.
MacKinnon led all first-year players with 63 points and 39 assists, while
tying for the top spot with 24 goals. The first overall pick of the 2013 draft
also had a 13-game point streak to top Wayne Gretzky's mark of 12 consecutive
games with a point by a player aged 18 or younger. He will try to become the
second Avalanche player to claim the award in three seasons, following 2012
winner Gabriel Landeskog.
Johnson set a Lightning rookie record with 24 goals, tying MacKinnon for the
most in the NHL by a rookie this season. He also tied for the overall league
lead with five short-handed goals and also scored five on the power play,
joining Dennis Maruk in 1975-76 as the only rookies to reach five in each
category. Signed as free agent in 2011, Johnson is the first undrafted Calder
finalist since Ed Belfour took top honors for Chicago in 1991.
Palat was second among rookie scorers with 23 goals, 36 assists and 59 points,
finishing three shy of Tampa Bay's rookie record of 62 points set by Brad
Richards in 2000-01. He led all first-year players with a plus-32 rating and
his eight-game point streak was the longest for a Lightning rookie.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for
the Calder Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season.
The winner will be announced Tuesday, June 24 during the NHL Awards ceremony
in Las Vegas.
=== Poythress staying at Kentucky ===
Lexington, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Kentucky forward Alex Poythress has
decided to return for his junior season with the Wildcats.
Poythress averaged 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 40 games this past season,
helping the Wildcats reach the NCAA Tournament championship game.
"Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine, but I want to make sure
that I'm NBA-ready before I make that jump," said Poythress on Wednesday. "By
coming back, I'll be so much closer to earning my degree in business and it
will give me another year to prepare my game and my body for the next level."
Poythress shot better than 68 percent from the field during the NCAA
Tournament. He scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds in the national
semifinal win against Wisconsin and was a key figure in Kentucky's Sweet 16
win over Louisville with six points in the final five minutes.
The 6-foot-8 native of Tennessee started 31 of 33 games as a freshman and
averaged 11.2 points with 6.0 rebounds.
"I'm excited for Alex and the decision he's arrived at," said Kentucky coach
John Calipari. "I'm proud of the work he committed to this past season, on and
off the floor, and think he's ready to take that next step and lead this team
Willie Cauley-Stein and Marcus Lee have also announced their intentions to
return next season, while the Wildcats have already lost Julius Randle and
James Young to the NBA Draft.
=== Nadal moves on; Ferrer stunned on home soil ===
Barcelona, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal
advanced, while four-time runner-up David Ferrer was a shocking loser
Wednesday at the $2.55 million Barcelona Open tennis event.
The world No. 1 and reigning three-time titlist Nadal got past fellow Spaniard
Albert Ramos 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 on the red clay at Royal Barcelona Tennis Club.
"It was a positive victory for me," said Nadal. "Obviously I didn't play my
best match, but after the defeat in Monte Carlo, the next match on court was
never going to be easy."
Nadal, who was stunned by Ferrer in Monte Carlo last week, beat Nicolas
Almagro in last year's third straight all-Spanish Barcelona finale. His third-
round opponent on Thursday will be capable Croat Ivan Dodig.
Meanwhile, 55th-ranked Russian journeyman Teymuraz Gabashvili stunned the
second-seeded Ferrer 6-4, 6-2 on Day 3.
"Three weeks ago I lost to Ferrer in Miami but I dominated that first set.
Today, I wanted to maintain my energy and keep it going, which I did for (90)
minutes, but any more and it might have been tougher to win," Gabashvili said
after winning for the first time on his third try against Ferrer.
Ferrer lost to Nadal in Barcelona finals in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.
More second-round upsets came when Santiago Giraldo defeated third-seeded
Italian Fabio Fognini 6-0, 4-0, retired; Austrian left-hander Jurgen Melzer
took out seventh-seeded Pole Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 7-6 (7-1); Spaniard Albert
Montanes doused eighth-seeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6 (7-5), 6-3;
and Dodig drove out 13th-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-4. Fognini
gave way to a right leg injury.
A sixth-seeded Almagro avoided the upset bug by handling Slovak Martin Klizan
7-5, 7-6 (7-4), while 11th-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco cruised past
Frenchman Kenny De Schepper 6-4, 6-3. The 2010 Barcelona champion Verdasco was
a clay court titlist in Houston two weeks ago, when he beat Almagro in the
Almagro and Verdasco will clash once again on Thursday.
Another result saw 12th-seeded Croat Marin Cilic erase Russian qualifier
Andrey Kuznetsov 6-1, 7-6 (7-2).
This week's winner will earn $580,000.
=== Dimitrov reaches Bucharest quarters ===
Bucharest, Romania (SportsNetwork.com) - Top seed Grigor Dimitrov posted a
second-round victory Wednesday at the $590,000 BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy
The 22-year-old Bulgarian handled Czech fellow rising star Jiri Vesely 7-6
(7-5), 6-2 on the red clay at BNR Arenas.
The world No. 16 Dimitrov will face Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky in Friday's
quarterfinals. Stakhovsky came from behind to beat Argentine Carlos Berlocq
4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 on Day 3.
In other second-round play, fourth-seeded Frenchman and three-time Bucharest
champion Gilles Simon grounded Bucharest native and 2007 runner-up Victor
Hanescu 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 and reigning champion Lukas Rosol upended eighth-seeded
Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 6-4 in 68 minutes.
Rosol beat Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in last year's Bucharest finale.
His quarterfinal opponent will be the Bucharest stalwart Simon, as the two
players account for four of the last seven titles here.
Simon is 18-2 lifetime at this event.
The 2014 Bucharest winner will collect $106,725.
=== Hantuchova into Marrakech QFs ===
Marrakech, Morocco (SportsNetwork.com) - Top seed Daniela Hantuchova secured
a berth in the quarterfinals at the $250,000 Marrakech Grand Prix tennis
The Slovakian veteran dismissed last year's Marrakech runner-up Lourdes
Dominguez Lino 7-5, 6-2 on the red clay at the Royal Tennis Club.
The Spanish Dominguez Lino lost to former French Open champ Francesca
Schiavone in last year's Marrakech finale.
Hantuchova's quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be sixth-seeded Chinese Peng
Also in the second round on Wednesday, fifth-seeded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza
drilled Swiss Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-2, Peng topped Ukrainian qualifier
Maryna Zanevska 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) and Israeli Shahar Peer outlasted Austrian
Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (7-3). Muguruza and Peer will
battle in the round of eight.
The first round wrapped up when Slovenian Polona Hercog upset seventh-seeded
Chinese Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-2.
The 2014 Marrakech titlist will claim $43,000.
=== Greenberg resigns as BU women's hoops coach ===
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Boston University women's basketball coach
Kelly Greenberg resigned Wednesday in the wake of allegations that she
Greenberg just completed her 10th season with the Terriers, a trying campaign
that included the departure of at least four players during the past year.
The university convened a panel to address complaints of the four players. The
result, based on interviews with team members, determined that Greenberg's
interaction with many players was "incompatible with the expectations and
standards for university employees, including our coaches," the school said in
When Greenberg was made aware of the results of the investigation, she decided
"I have determined that it is in the best interest of the university, the
women's basketball program, and myself for me to resign my position as head
women's basketball coach," said Greenberg in a statement released by the
school. "I do not agree with some of the findings of the review panel
regarding my coaching style, which was intended to produce well-rounded
athletes and a winning team. However, given all that has transpired, I do not
believe that it will be possible for me to continue as an effective coach at
Greenberg compiled a record of 186-127 during her 10-year run at BU. She also
coached five seasons at Penn, guiding the Quakers to a record of 84-54 with a
pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.
04/23 22:28:47 ET