=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Wednesday, October 29 ===
=== Giants win Game 7 for 3rd title in 5 years ===
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Madison Bumgarner watched as Pablo
Sandoval worked his way under the ball.
Moments later, the San Francisco Giants ace was swarmed by teammates near the
mound after punctuating one of the great postseason performances in any sport.
Some of them stopped first to congratulate Sandoval, who was on his back after
catching the last out.
And on the edge of the celebration, Buster Posey dropped to his knees, a smile
on the catcher's face that showed both happiness and relief.
This is some dynasty, and it almost unraveled on an error.
Bumgarner pitched five scoreless innings out of the bullpen and the Giants
held on to beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in Game 7 on Wednesday night,
capturing their third World Series title in five years.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, after Bumgarner had retired
14 batters in a row, Alex Gordon sliced a hit into left-center field that
bounced past Gregor Blanco and went to the wall, suddenly giving the Royals a
sliver of hope.
Left fielder Juan Perez bobbled the ball on the warning track and Gordon made
it all the way to third on a two-base error.
"I'm not sure what happened. I didn't see it," Bumgarner said. "But I was
starting to get a little nervous. He was digging around a little bit and it's
a big outfield.
"It was a little nerve-wracking."
But Bumgarner threw six fastballs to Salvador Perez, who popped up into foul
territory near third base, where Sandoval squeezed it before falling onto his
back with his arms in the air.
"Relief," said Bruce Bochy, who has managed each of these three championship
teams. "Because anything can happen -- a bloop, a wild pitch. There's a man on
third base there and (Bumgarner) just made some great pitches."
Bumgarner pitched on two days' rest after throwing a four-hit shutout in Game
5 on Sunday for his second win of the series. He was named World Series MVP,
to no one's surprise, after throwing 21 innings and giving just up one run,
nine hits and one walk.
Sandoval, due to be a free agent, reached base four times in Game 7 and scored
twice, including the go-ahead run on Michael Morse's single back in the fourth
inning. Sandoval had three hits, giving him an MLB-record 26 this postseason.
The Royals, trying to win a title for the first time in 29 years, came up a
win short. They forced Game 7 with Tuesday's 10-0 blowout, extending their
magical season for another day, but scored their only runs Wednesday in the
"You work all year to climb to the top of the mountain and then 'Boom!' You
fall back down and have to restart next season," Kansas City manager Ned Yost
The wild-card Giants, an 88-win team that finished six games behind the rival
Dodgers in the NL West, rode a Bumgarner shutout to an 8-0 win in Pittsburgh
on Oct. 1 and finished their title run two days shy of Halloween.
Bumgarner's wins in Games 1 and 5, and his five-inning save in the clincher,
cemented his role at the age of 25 as a postseason star on a Giants team that
has carved an odd dynasty into recent baseball history.
The Giants have made the postseason only three times in the last 11 years --
winning the World Series each time. Wednesday's celebration followed titles in
2010 over Texas and 2012 over Detroit.
They snapped a nine-game losing streak by road teams in World Series Game 7s,
becoming the first team to win that way since the 1979 "We Are Family"
Pirates, who clinched in Baltimore.
"Still can't believe it," first baseman Brandon Belt tweeted hours later.
Belt and Hunter Pence had two hits apiece, including back-to-back singles in
the second inning after Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie grazed Sandoval
with a pitch leading off. Morse and Brandon Crawford followed with sacrifice
flies for the Giants' first two runs.
Hours later, the Giants celebrated in customary fashion by spraying champagne
in the locker room.
So used to their backs being against the wall during their three title runs,
the Giants got their eighth straight win in an elimination game -- including
six on the road.
After beating Pittsburgh in the NL wild-card game, they never sniffed another
elimination test until the World Series. They closed out Washington in four
games in the NL division series and needed just five games to beat St. Louis.
They won the pennant on Travis Ishikawa's dramatic ninth-inning homer on Oct.
16 at AT&T Park in a game that saw them snap a streak of 242 consecutive plate
appearances without a homer.
Big moments came from all over the lineup, of course, but the Giants produced
little in the way of big blows over the past week, winning Games 4 and 5 with
28 hits, including 24 singles. They scored 15 straight runs before Kansas
City's seven-run rally in the second inning of Game 6 on Tuesday, when the
Giants were shut out over seven innings by rookie Yordano Ventura.
They had eight more hits in Game 7 -- all but one of them a single.
It was the eighth World Series title in franchise history.
"That was a phenomenal series," said Yost. "They played great baseball. And
Madison Bumgarner, man. What can you say about him?"
The Royals, perennial down-and-outers in the AL Central, snatched a wild-card
spot to reach the playoffs for the first time since winning the World Series
in 1985. Building a brand as an underdog favorite, they won their first eight
playoff games against the Athletics, Angels and Orioles before running into
Bumgarner in Game 1 last week.
Their 10-0 win in Game 6 -- a party from nearly start to finish for the 40,000
fans in attendance -- was the most lopsided World Series shutout since Kansas
City's 11-0 win over St. Louis in Game 7 in 1985.
"It hurts to come as close as we came," said Yost. "As magical as our run has
been, to end up losing the ballgame by 90 feet is tough."
That magic which produced extra-inning wins in the Royals' first three playoff
games -- and four of their first five -- wasn't reproduced against the Giants.
Their three wins in the series came by 16 runs. That includes Friday's 3-2
victory in Game 3, when the Royals took a 2-1 lead in the series on the backs
of bullpen stars Kelvin Herrera, Brandon Finnegan, Wade Davis and Greg
Holland, who combined to throw four no-hit innings in the game.
Herrera, Davis and Holland all pitched on Wednesday after Guthrie (1-1) went 3
1/3 innings. The Royals got to 39-year-old Tim Hudson, scoring two runs in the
second inning on Gordon's double and Omar Infante's sacrifice fly.
Hudson, the oldest pitcher ever to start Game 7, got just five outs and Jeremy
Affeldt (1-0) threw 2 1/3 innings to pick up the win, running his streak to 22
consecutive appearances in the postseason without allowing a run, one shy of
the record held by Yankees great Mariano Rivera.
Bumgarner finished with 270 innings pitched in the regular and postseason and
ran his career World Series record to 4-0 with a 0.25 ERA.
Bochy said he avoided Bumgarner in the dugout, the way players do when a
pitcher is throwing a no-hitter.
"I was staying away from him every inning because I was hoping he wouldn't
say, 'I'm starting to get a little tired,'" Bochy said. "Because there's no
way I would have taken him out unless he told me that.
"We just got on his horse and rode it."
Sandoval broke the old postseason hits record of 25 shared by Marquis Grissom
(1995), Darin Erstad (2002) and David Freese (2011) ... Hudson, who is MLB's
active wins leader with 214, also pitched Game 3 on Friday. He is without a
postseason win since Game 2 of the 2001 ALDS, when he pitched Oakland past the
Yankees ... Royals great and 1985 World Series MVP Bret Saberhagen threw out
the first pitch ... Home teams are now 18-19 in World Series Game 7s.
=== Report: Cubs to hire Maddon ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Cubs are in the process of finalizing an
agreement to make Joe Maddon their next manager, according to CBSSports.com
The report said that a deal between Maddon, who exercised an opt-out clause in
his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays last week, and the Cubs is expected to be
completed in the coming days and will make the two-time American League
Manager of the Year among the highest-paid skippers in baseball.
The Cubs have so far denied that an agreement is in place.
Maddon unquestionably became the most coveted managerial candidate available
once he parted ways with the Rays last Friday following a highly successful
nine-year tenure. His exodus came shortly after general manager Andrew
Friedman left the organization to become the president of baseball operations
for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Despite annually operating with one of the lowest payrolls in the majors, the
Rays were a consistent contender for much of Maddon's reign. Lauded for his
ability to work with young players and to maximize the available talent on
hand, the charismatic manager guided Tampa to six consecutive winning seasons
that began with an unexpected run to the World Series in 2008.
The Rays, who had never won over 70 games in their first 10 seasons prior to
that 2008 breakthrough, also reached the playoffs in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Maddon amassed a 754-705 overall record in Tampa Bay and guided the Rays to a
pair of division titles in addition to the 2008 AL pennant.
In Chicago, he'll take over a long-suffering franchise that has endured five
consecutive losing campaigns but did show moderate improvement in current
manager Rick Renteria's first season on the job. The Cubs finished with a
73-89 record in 2014 after winning 66 and 61 games the previous two years.
According to the CBS report, the Cubs had informed Renteria earlier in the
week of their pursuit of Maddon.
The Cubs had been linked as a potential desired destination for Maddon due to
their strong farm system as well as the organization's ability to spend on
free agents, a luxury he never had under the low-budget Rays.
Maddon is also believed to have a positive relationship with Cubs president of
baseball operations Theo Epstein, who reportedly nearly hired the 60-year-old
to manage the Red Sox while still in charge of Boston's baseball operations
back in 2004. Maddon, then a longtime bench coach for the Angels, ultimately
lost out to Terry Francona for the job.
=== O's outright Meek ===
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles outrighted relief
pitcher Evan Meek to Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday.
Meek went 0-4 with a 5.79 ERA in 23 games for the Orioles this season. He also
posted a 2-0 mark with a 1.94 ERA and 16 saves in 39 games for the Tides.
The 31-year-old right-hander also spent parts of five big league seasons with
the Pirates and owns a career mark of 7-11 with a 3.63 ERA in 179 games.
=== Gurley must sit two more games ===
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Georgia running back Todd Gurley will
miss two more games as part of his penalty for accepting money for signing
autographs and will be eligible to return Nov. 15.
The NCAA announced its ruling Wednesday, saying Gurley accepted more than
$3,000 in cash from individuals for autographed memorabilia over a two-year
Gurley, who acknowledged his violation of NCAA rules, will sit out a total of
four games -- or 30 percent of the season -- and must repay a portion of the
money received to a charity of his choice. He also must complete 40 hours of
The junior has already missed games against Missouri and Arkansas, and will
sit out Saturday's game against Florida as well as next week's contest at
Kentucky. His return will take place against Auburn in Georgia's final SEC
game of the season.
Georgia, which leads the SEC East, will then play non-conference home games
against Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech before a possible date in the SEC
Gurley was a top Heisman Trophy candidate after five games this season,
rushing for 773 yards with an average of 8.2 yards per carry and eight
touchdowns. He also returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and has 11
catches for 53 yards.
Nick Chubb has filled in admirably during Gurley's absence. The freshman ran
for 143 yards in a 34-0 win at Missouri, then churned out 202 yards in a 45-32
victory over Arkansas.
Georgia began its case for reinstatement last week and will appeal the latest
ruling, hoping for a reduced penalty. An oversight committee will review the
appeal this week.
The NCAA said a stronger penalty was considered because the violations
occurred over multiple years and Gurley committed the infractions despite
extensive rules education. However, the school's due diligence and Gurley's
full disclosure were factors in the NCAA's decision.
=== Romo day-to-day, Durant placed on IR ===
Irving, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said
quarterback Tony Romo will be day-to-day for practice this week because of his
The Cowboys also placed linebacker Justin Durant on injured reserve because of
a torn biceps.
Romo suffered a back contusion during the third quarter of Monday's loss to
Washington and sat out most of the fourth quarter before returning to the
contest. He underwent a CT scan earlier this week.
"It's a day-by-day thing with Tony," said Garrett on Wednesday. "We'll see how
he handles the pain and we'll see how functional he is as the week goes on."
Romo normally doesn't practice on Wednesday as part of his recovery from back
surgery last year. He appeared somewhat limited during the final possession of
regulation and overtime of Monday's 20-17 setback to the Redskins.
Durant was hurt in the second half on Monday. He was leading the team with 49
total tackles despite missing two games.
The Cowboys signed linebacker Tim Dobbins to fill the roster spot. Dobbins
last played in the NFL during the 2013 season with Houston. He has also played
for San Diego and Miami in an eight-year career, and has 253 total tackles.
=== Bengals' Burfict sidelined after knee surgery ===
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze
Burfict will miss at least Sunday's game against Jacksonville after undergoing
knee surgery on Wednesday.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Burfict had an arthroscopic procedure
performed to have loose cartilage removed. The 2013 Pro Bowl selection was
hurt during this past Sunday's game against Baltimore, but played through the
Lewis also said Burfict will most likely miss Cincinnati's Week 10 game
against Cleveland since it takes place next Thursday and will likely return
for the Nov. 16 game against New Orleans.
Burfict, who signed a new four-year contract this summer after leading the
team in tackles each of his first two seasons, missed two games earlier this
year because of concussions and also hurt his neck two weeks ago against
=== RG3 puts in full practice ===
Ashburn, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Robert Griffin III was a full practice
participant on Wednesday for the first time since dislocating his ankle in
September, though the Washington Redskins quarterback's status for this
Sunday's game against Minnesota still remains up in the air.
Head coach Jay Gruden said after Wednesday's session that Griffin and Colt
McCoy split reps with the first-team offense and that Griffin is still
awaiting medical clearance to return to game action.
"We'll see ... it's all going to depend on how he does in tomorrow and
Friday," said Gruden of Griffin, who suffered his injury during the first
quarter of Washington's Week 2 game against Jacksonville and hasn't played
since. "And moving forward, how I feel he's coming back. From a physical
standpoint he looks good, now it's a matter of mental and getting back into
the football part of it."
McCoy's performance on Monday, in which he completed 25-of-30 passes for 299
yards to help the Redskins to an overtime upset of NFC East rival Dallas,
could also factor in the decision. With the Redskins having their bye after
Sunday's game, Griffin could receive an additional two weeks of recovery time
before returning for a home matchup against Tampa Bay on Nov. 16.
"If he looks good in that (mental) regard, then there's a chance he could
play. And if not and he needs another week, he'll take another week," said
McCoy has held his own since replacing an ineffective Kirk Cousins for the
second half of Washington's Week 7 game against Tennessee. The onetime
Cleveland Browns starter went 11-of-12 for 128 yards to rally the Redskins to
a 19-17 win over the Titans, then played solidly in the Dallas game.
=== Saints list Graham questionable for Thursday ===
Metairie, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New Orleans Saints have declared
tight end Jimmy Graham questionable for Thursday's game against Carolina,
though the 2013 All-Pro is fully expected to play in the important NFC South
Graham also had been termed questionable for each of New Orleans' previous two
contests but played in both, and managed five catches for 59 yards and a
touchdown in Sunday's 44-23 win over Green Bay.
The two-time Pro Bowl selection has been battling a shoulder injury sustained
in a game against Tampa Bay on Oct. 5.
Running back Khiry Robinson also was listed as questionable for Thursday's
tilt, but did not practice on Wednesday and is unlikely to suit up against the
Panthers. Both Robinson (forearm) and fellow running back Pierre Thomas sat
out the Green Bay game as well.
Thomas has been formally ruled out for this week due to injuries to his ribs
and shoulder. Linebacker David Hawthorne also will not play after exiting
Sunday's game with an injured hand.
Starting center Jonathan Goodwin, who was inactive against the Packers with a
sore knee and ankle, is considered questionable but did practice on a limited
basis on Wednesday.
=== Panthers LT Bell out for Saints game ===
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Carolina Panthers left tackle Byron Bell
will miss Thursday night's game against the New Orleans Saints due to a knee
Undrafted rookie David Foucault will get the start protecting Cam Newton's
Along with Bell, cornerback Bene Benwikere (ankle), receiver/return Philly
Brown (concussion), guards Amini Silatolu (calf) and Trai Turner (knee) and
running back Fozzy Whittaker (thigh) have been ruled out.
Safety Thomas DeCoud (hamstring) and defensive tackle Kawann Short (ankle) are
listed as questionable.
Running back DeAngelo Williams (ankle) is probable after missing the last four
=== Patriots sign Alan Branch ===
Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New England Patriots signed defensive
lineman Alan Branch and released linebacker Deontae Skinner on Wednesday.
Branch, 29, is a veteran of seven NFL seasons with the Arizona Cardinals
(2007-10), Seattle Seahawks (2011-12) and Buffalo Bills (2013). The 6-foot-6,
325-pounder went to training camp with Buffalo this past summer but was
released in August.
A second-round pick by Arizona in 2007, Branch has started in 47 of 94 NFL
games and has recorded 170 total tackles with eight sacks. Last season with
Buffalo, he played in all 16 games and finished with 39 total tackles.
Skinner, 24, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out
of Mississippi State. He was signed to the 53-man roster from the practice
squad on Sept. 13 and played in seven games with one start, accumulating 10
total tackles and three special teams tackles.
=== Jaguars place Ball on IR ===
Jacksonville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Alan
Ball will miss the remainder of the season because of a biceps injury.
Ball was hurt in a Week 7 game against Cleveland before sitting out this past
Sunday's contest against Miami. He started the first seven games and finished
the season with an interception and 22 tackles.
The 29-year-old Illinois product joined the Jaguars in 2013 after also playing
for Dallas and Houston in his first six years. He started 15 games last season
and notched a pair of interceptions.
Jacksonville filled the roster spot by signing cornerback Tommie Campbell, who
spent three seasons with Tennessee before being waived by the Titans in
=== Pats DE Jones remains out with hip injury ===
Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - New England Patriots defensive end
Chandler Jones remains out of practice as he recovers from a hip injury.
Jones was the only player who missed practice on Wednesday for New England,
which is getting ready for an AFC clash with the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Defensive end Dominique Easley (knee), safety Nate Ebner (finger), tackle
Cameron Fleming (finger) and wide receiver Matt Slater (shoulder) were all
limited participants on Wednesday.
=== Big Ben, Delmas, Davis named AFC's best for Week 8 ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben
Roethlisberger, Miami Dolphins safety Louis Delmas and Kansas City Chiefs
returner Knile Davis were selected as the AFC's top players for Week 8 of the
Roethlisberger was named the top offensive player after setting franchise
records with 522 passing yards and six touchdowns during the Steelers' 51-34
win over Indianapolis. He connected on 40-of-49 passes to become the first
player in league history to complete more than 80 percent of his throws in a
It's the 10th weekly award for Roethlisberger, who tied for the fourth-most
passing yards in a single game and is now the only player with two 500-yard
Delmas picked up the defensive award thanks to an 81-yard interception return
for a touchdown and a fumble recovery in Miami's 27-13 win over Jacksonville.
He is the first NFL player to recover a fumble and return a pick for a score
in the same game since Dallas' Roy Williams in 2002.
Davis earned the special teams honor with a 99-yard kickoff return for a
touchdown in Kansas City's 34-7 win over St. Louis. His return opened the
second half and provided the Chiefs with a 17-7 lead. He also ran for 49 yards
with a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Other offensive candidates included New England quarterback Tom Brady, who
would have won the award most weeks after completing 30-of-35 passes for 354
yards with five touchdowns in a 51-23 win over Chicago; Houston running back
Arian Foster, who scored three touchdowns and rushed for 151 yards on just 20
carries in a 30-16 win over Tennessee; and Denver receiver Emmanuel Sanders,
who caught nine passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-21 win over
Defensive consideration went to Buffalo linebacker Preston Brown, who had nine
tackles and an interception in a 43-23 win over the New York Jets; and Miami
cornerback Brent Grimes, who also returned an interception for a touchdown.
Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon was also nominated for the special teams
award after a blocking a field goal in the win over the Jaguars.
=== Fitzgerald highlights NFC Players of the Week ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry
Fitzgerald, Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr and Washington Redskins
kicker Kai Forbath have been named the NFC Players of the Week for their Week
Fitzgerald, the offensive player of the week, caught seven passes for 160
yards and one touchdown in the Cardinals' 24-20 win over Philadelphia. His 80-
yard touchdown was the longest reception of his career and his fifth catch of
The performance marked the ninth 150-yard game of his career, including the
playoffs, and was his best output since Jan. 10, 2009, when he had 166 yards
in a divisional playoff victory at Carolina.
Barr, the defensive player of the week, had eight tackles, a sack and scored
the game-winning touchdown in the Vikings' 19-13 overtime win at Tampa Bay. On
the first play from scrimmage in overtime, Barr forced a fumble which he
recovered and returned 27 yards for the game-winning score.
He became the only player in NFL history to force a fumble, recover the ball
and return it for a touchdown in overtime.
Forbath, the special teams player of the week, converted both field-goal
attempts, including a 40-yard game-winner in overtime, and added two PATs in
the Redskins' 20-17 win at Dallas.
It marked the second consecutive week that Forbath kicked a game-winning field
goal at the end of regulation or in overtime. In Week 7, he converted a 22-
yard field goal as time expired to give Washington a 19-17 win against
=== Mason, ex-NFL player Foxworth named NBPA execs ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Recently retired NBA veteran Roger Mason
Jr. and former NFL Players Association president Domonique Foxworth are among
several new appointments to the NBA Players Association senior management
Mason, who finished a 10-year NBA career this past season, was named the
union's director of player relations. Foxworth, who spent seven seasons as an
NFL cornerback with Denver, Atlanta and Baltimore from 2005-11, will begin
duties as the NBAPA chief operating officer in January.
The union also hired ex-NBA player Walter Palmer as its new director of
international relations and marketing and tabbed Washington-based attorney
Gary Kohlman as general counsel.
"With these four hires the NBPA gets the benefit of a terrific mix of sports
industry experience, business acumen, and legal expertise," said NBAPA
executive director Michele Roberts. "When I was hired as Executive Director, I
promised the players we would build a team of gladiators to represent their
interests. There will be further additions to the NBPA senior management
team, but we are beginning by putting a solid foundation in place."
Mason was an active participant in labor relations during his playing days,
first serving as a team player representative before beginning his tenure on
the executive committee in 2010. The 34-year-old was elected the NBAPA's First
Vice President in 2013 and played a key role in constructing the present
Collective Bargaining Agreement that ended the league's five-month lockout in
Foxworth became the youngest-ever vice president of the NFLPA's executive
committee when tabbed to that position in 2008 at age 25. He was unanimously
elected as the union's president four years later and held that role until
this past March.
Palmer played one season each with the Utah Jazz (1990-91) and Dallas
Mavericks (1992-93) before a long and successful career overseas. The
Dartmouth alumnus currently heads the department for UNI Sport PRO, a global
coalition of independent athletic associations representing athletes from over
60 countries in a dozen sports.
=== Lakers rule Randle out for season ===
El Segundo, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Julius Randle's rookie season will last
only a single game, as the Los Angeles Lakers announced Thursday that the 2014
first-round pick will miss the remainder of the campaign after undergoing
surgery to repair a fractured right tibia.
Randle fell hard after driving to the lane during the fourth quarter of the
Lakers' season-opening 108-90 loss to Houston at Staples Center. After being
attended to on the court for several minutes by the medical staff, the No. 7
overall pick was carried to the locker room on a stretcher with his leg in an
The Kentucky standout was 1-of-3 from the floor for two points in 13-plus
minutes in his NBA regular season debut.
Randle spent just one season at Kentucky before declaring for the draft,
earning SEC Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Conference honors while
helping the Wildcats reach the NCAA Tournament Championship Game last spring.
Over 40 games with the Wildcats, Randle averaged 15 points, 10.4 rebounds and
1.4 assists along with a nation-leading 24 double-doubles.
Randle is the second Lakers' player in the past week to be declared out for
the season. Veteran point guard and two-time league MVP Steve Nash will not
play in 2014-15 due to a chronic back injury that limited him to only 15 games
=== Nets' Lopez out for opener ===
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez will not
play in Wednesday's season opener against the Boston Celtics due to a sprained
right foot he suffered during the preseason.
The oft-injured Lopez was stepped on by a player during the Nets' game against
Sacramento on Oct. 15, with the team expecting him to be sidelined between 10-
Lopez has endured problems with the same foot previously during his six-year
NBA career. A fracture limited the 7-footer to just five games during the
2011-12 campaign and he broke the fifth metatarsal last December, ending his
season after just 17 appearances.
=== Hornets pick up options on Kidd-Gilchrist, Zeller ===
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Prior to hosting Milwaukee in their season
opener, the Charlotte Hornets announced that they have exercised the team's
fourth-year option on small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and third-year
option on power forward Cody Zeller.
Kidd-Gilchrist was selected No. 2 overall by Charlotte, then the Bobcats, back
in 2012 after helping lead the Kentucky Wildcats to a national title. The
Philly product has struggled with his jump shot thus far in his career
but has made his mark as a defensive stopper.
In two seasons, Kidd-Gilchrist is averaging 8.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per
game. He has started 139 of 140 games.
Zeller appeared in all 82 games as a rookie last season, averaging 6.0 points
and 4.3 boards per game. Another Charlotte lottery pick, Zeller was taken
fourth overall in 2013 out of Indiana.
=== Mavs bring back Barea ===
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Mavericks announced the return
of guard J.J. Barea to an undisclosed contract Wednesday.
Barea had spent the last three years in Minnesota, picking up 8.4 points,
3.8 assists and 1.9 rebounds per contest over 79 games for the Timberwolves
The 30-year-old native of Puerto Rico began his career with Dallas from
2006-11, closing out his tenure with an NBA championship.
In 509 career games over eight seasons, Barea has put together averages of 8.3
points, 3.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game.
=== Wings issue statement on Howe's condition ===
Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday offered
an update on the condition of hockey ambassador and franchise icon Gordie
Howe, who suffered a health setback over the weekend.
"The Howe family would like to thank friends, family and fans for your
overwhelming well-wishes, prayers and support for Gordie. He suffered a
significant stroke on Sunday morning while at his daughter?s home in Lubbock,
Texas," read the statement, issued by Hall-of-Fame defenseman and current Red
Wings scout Mark Howe, Gordie's middle son.
"His condition remains guarded although he is showing some signs of
improvement. We acknowledge that there is a long road to recovery
ahead, but Dad's spirits are good and his competitive attitude remains
Howe's stroke was a sudden downturn after a relatively peaceful period.
According to a Toronto Sun piece from late September, the 86-year-old Hall-of-
Famer was forced to undergo surgery in August to correct narrowing of his
spinal canal which made it almost impossible for Howe to walk and caused him
The paper also revealed the elder Howe had a seizure in early September and
also endured a series of smaller strokes. He had apparently made enough
progress to walk without assistance once more.
"It's sad news of the stroke and the family is all in there and we're praying
and hoping for a speedy recovery," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock added.
=== Bruins' Krug sidelined with broken finger ===
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is
expected to miss 2-to-3 weeks because of a broken finger.
Krug was hurt during Tuesday's game against Minnesota.
The 23-year-old blueliner has two goals and four assists in 11 games this
season, leading all Boston defensemen with six points. He was the top scorer
among NHL rookie defensemen last season with 14 goals and 40 points in 79
Boston also recalled defensemen Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky from Providence
of the American Hockey League.
=== Flames place Stajan on IR, call up Granlund ===
Calgary, AB (SportsNetwork.com) - The Calgary Flames placed forward Matt
Stajan on injured reserve Wednesday with a knee injury that is expected to
sideline him for six weeks.
Stajan left a 2-1 shootout loss to the Canadiens on Tuesday when he was part
of an accidental knee-on-knee hit with Montreal defenseman Jarred Tinordi.
The 30-year-old center recorded a goal and one assist in 11 appearances this
To fill the roster spot, Calgary recalled forward Markus Granlund from
Adirondack of the American Hockey League. The 21-year-old native of Finland
recorded three goals and five points in eight games so far for the Flames'
=== Blue Jackets' Letestu out 2-4 weeks with groin injury ===
Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Columbus Blue Jackets forward Mark Letestu
will miss 2-to-4 weeks with a groin injury, the team announced Wednesday.
Letestu suffered the injury during Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Letestu has three goals and two assists in nine games this season. He had 12
goals and 22 assists in 82 games last season.
=== Rangers' Moore suspended five games ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - New York Rangers defenseman John Moore has
been suspended five games without pay for an illegal check to the head of
Minnesota's Erik Haula during Monday's game against the Wild.
The 23-year-old Moore was assessed a match penalty 7:12 into the second
Moore, who has one assist in nine games this season, is considered a repeat
offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on
his average annual salary, will forfeit $51,859.75. The money goes to the
Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
=== Federer, Murray move on at Paris Masters ===
Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Former champion Roger Federer and
surging British star Andy Murray were among Wednesday's second-round winners
at the $3.7 million Paris Masters.
The second-seeded former world No. 1 Federer stayed hot with a hard-fought
7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 victory over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, while the
eighth-seeded two-time Grand Slam champion Murray topped France's Julien
Benneteau 6-3, 6-4 on the indoor hardcourts at Paris' Palais Omnisports.
"I played a very good match," Chardy said, after losing to the great Federer.
"I was able to do everything I wanted to do today and I had opportunities.
Even when I was broken back I didn't play a bad game. He was just a little bit
better than I was today. I think that was the difference... I didn't give up.
I tried to stay in there, and I believe the fight was good to watch."
The 33-year-old Federer is fresh off his title in his hometown of Basel,
Switzerland, last week and was the Paris Masters champ in 2011. Murray is
fresh off title in Valencia and has won two straight and three of his last
five tournaments overall.
Federer is currently riding a 13-match winning streak, including a title at
the Shanghai Masters three weeks ago. Murray has won his last 10 matches.
Up next for Federer will be another Frenchman, qualifier Lucas Pouille, while
Murray will take on Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov.
Third-seeded Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka ended a three-match
losing streak by handling promising Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-4, 7-6 (8-6),
while fourth-seeded David Ferrer held off rising Belgian David Goffin 6-3,
2-6, 6-3, and sixth-seeded U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori overcame last
week's Valencia runner-up to Murray, Tommy Robredo, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-3 on
Day 3 in Paris. Ferrer titled here two years ago and was last year's Paris
Masters runner-up to two-time titlist Novak Djokovic. Goffin was last week's
Basel runner-up to Federer.
In other top-10 action, seventh-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic fired 19 aces
before outlasting qualifier and improving American Jack Sock 6-3, 5-7, 7-6
(7-4), a ninth-seeded Dimitrov drubbed Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas 6-0, 6-3, and
10th-seeded French favorite, former champion and former runner-up Jo-Wilfried
Tsonga got past Austrian left-hander Jurgen Melzer 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Meanwhile, 11th-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut rolled past struggling
Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-2, 12th-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez
foiled American qualifier Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-4, two-time Paris Masters runner-
up Gael Monfils beat 13th-seeded American John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) and
Pouille upended 16th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (9-7).
This marks the final tournament of the regular season on the ATP World Tour.
=== Muguruza whips Makarova at TOC ===
Sofia, Bulgaria (SportsNetwork.com) - Rising young Spaniard Garbine
Muguruza upset top seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in Wednesday's round-
robin action at the $750,000 WTA Tournament of Champions.
The seventh-seeded 21-year-old Muguruza mauled the U.S. Open semifinalist
Makarova 6-2, 6-1 in 69 minutes on the indoor hardcourt at Armeets Arena.
Meanwhile, second-seeded Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova of
Slovakia topped fifth-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 6-4 and
fourth-seeded German Andrea Petkovic handled eighth-seeded Bulgarian crowd
favorite Tsvetana Pironkova 7-5, 6-2.
This eight-player season-ending tournament is for players who have won one or
more of the WTA International events during the year but did not qualify for
the WTA Finals, which was staged last week in Singapore.
The four-woman Serdika Group features Makarova (0-1), third-seeded
Italian Flavia Pennetta (1-0), sixth-seeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet (0-1)
and Muguruza (1-0). Cibulkova (2-0) heads up the Sredets Group, which also
includes Petkovic (1-1), Suarez Navarro (1-1) and Pironkova (0-2).
Thursday's round-robin affairs will pit Makarova against Cornet, Cibulkova
versus Petkovic and Pennetta against Muguruza.
This six-year-old event will move to Zhuhai, China, next year after a three-
year run in Sofia.
=== Kvitova will lead Czechs in Fed Cup final against Germany ===
Prague, Czech Republic (SportsNetwork.com) - Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova
will lead the Czech Republic in next week's best-of-five Fed Cup final versus
The world No. 4 two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova will be joined by 22-year-
old rising star Karolina Pliskova, Lucie Safarova and doubles specialist Lucie
Hradecka for the November 8-9 battle on an indoor hardcourt at O2 Arena.
Team Germany will counter with 10th-ranked Angelique Kerber, No. 17 Andrea
Petkovic, 2013 Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki and Julia Goerges.
The Czechs, who beat their fellow two-time champion Germans in their previous
three encounters, captured back-to-back Fed Cup titles 2011 and '12.
=== Jackson leads CFL's monthly awards ===
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - British Columbia Lions wide receiver Ernest
Jackson, Montreal Alouettes linebacker Bear Woods, Edmonton Eskimos returner
Kendial Lawrence and Ottawa RedBlacks defensive back Antoine Pruneau were
named the CFL Players of the Month for October.
Jackson was named the Offensive Player of the Month after recording 20
receptions for 438 yards and a pair of touchdowns last month. Jackson's
standout performance of the past four weeks came in a Week 16 home date
against Ottawa. He tallied eight receptions for a career-high 195 yards,
including a 60-yard touchdown grab, in the Lions' 41-3 blowout win.
Woods, the Defensive Player of the Month, recorded 24 tackles, three sacks, an
interception and forced a fumble as the Alouettes won all three contests in
October. This is the second month in a row that Woods has been recognized
as the league's top defender.
Lawrence was named the Special Teams Player of the Month. In the Eskimos'
three October games, Lawrence compiled 423 combined return yards and scored
two touchdowns as his team went 2-1.
Pruneau, the Canadian Player of the month, registered 22 tackles, a sack and a
special teams tackle in four games.
10/30 02:36:36 ET