=== News Summaries from The Sports Network - Monday, September 22 ===
=== Ravens owner takes on Rice inquiries ===
Owings Mills, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Baltimore Ravens owner Steve
Bisciotti still stands by his stance that no one in the organization saw
the now infamous tape of Ray Rice knocking out his now-wife, Janay
Palmer, in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February.
Bisciotti called a press conference Monday to discuss a recent report
regarding the timing of when the Ravens and NFL officials actually witnessed
the disturbing video.
"It's a bad picture and that's why we responded with the facts that we know
them to be," Bisciotti said of the allegations of misdirection and
misleading by the Ravens in the case. "I'm not happy with it."
The team also responded to ESPN's "Outside the Lines" report on its website
with what the team is calling "errors, inaccuracies, false assumptions and,
There were 15 bullet points in reference to the allegations.
Bisciotti still contends the Ravens' brass did their jobs, save for doing
everything in their power to obtain the footage, and that "no one is losing
"I'm sorry we didn't push harder to get that tape. It certainly seems to me we
had the leverage," Bisciotti said at the press conference. "If it had crossed
my mind, I would have demanded it."
The owner also opined the reports stem from Rice and his handlers trying to
get the running back reinstated from his indefinite suspension.
"The majority of the sources are people that work for Ray," Bisciotti said.
"Almost everything in (the report) is anonymous, but it's clear from the
subject matter that it's Ray's attorney, it's Ray's agent, it's Ray's
"The best case for reinstatement is to make everyone else look like they're
Bisciotti added Rice will never play for the Ravens again, but believes "this
was Ray's one terrible moment."
Near the end of the 50-minute presser, Bisciotti lamented that if the video
was released sooner, Rice's suspension may have been lighter.
"If it happened in April, it would have been an unprecedented suspension...
(but) I think people would have been a little more forgiving and capable of
welcoming him back," Bisciotti said.
=== Steelers to bring back Harrison ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - After losing a pair of starting linebackers to injuries
in their last game, the Pittsburgh Steelers are set to bring back a familiar
Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison tweeted Monday night
that will come out of a brief retirement and re-join the team he spent 10 of
his 11 NFL seasons with.
"I'll give it one more year!," wrote Harrison on his Twitter account.
The decision comes one day after the Steelers saw outside linebacker Jarvis
Jones go down with a wrist injury and rookie Ryan Shazier hurt his right knee
during Sunday's 37-19 win at Carolina. Jones is expected to be placed on
injured reserve/designated to return, meaning the 2013 first-round pick will
be forced to sit out at least eight games.
Harrison, who spent last season with AFC North-rival Cincinnati, announced his
intention to retire in late August. The 36-year-old was not signed by any team
after being released by the Bengals in March.
Signed by the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2002 and released
the following year, Harrison emerged as one of the team's core players when he
returned in 2004 and helped the franchise to a pair of Super Bowl titles
in his 10 seasons.
Harrison started 95 of the 131 games he played with the Steelers and ranks
fourth in franchise history with 64 sacks. He was the NFL Defensive Player of
the Year in 2008, earned five straight trips to the Pro Bowl from 2007-11 and
was named First-Team All-Pro twice.
The 36-year-old Kent State product also played 12 postseason games with the
Steelers and registered the longest interception return in Super Bowl history
with a 100-yard touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
Harrison joined division-rival Cincinnati last season and helped the Bengals
to the AFC North crown, amassing 30 tackles with two sacks and an interception
in 15 games.
=== Ravens lose Pitta for season ===
Owings Mills, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - For a second straight year, Baltimore
Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has had his season cut short by a dislocated
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh confirmed during his Monday press conference
that Pitta underwent surgery earlier in the day and will be placed on injured
Pitta had to be carted off the field during the second quarter of Sunday's
game against the Cleveland Browns. After catching a short pass from Joe
Flacco, the fifth-year pro collapsed to the ground without contact as he
The 29-year-old was taken to a Cleveland hospital, where he remained overnight
and had his procedure performed Monday morning.
Pitta fractured and dislocated the same hip during last year's training camp,
prompting the Ravens to place him on injured reserve/designated to return. He
played in Baltimore's final four games of 2013, logging 20 catches for 169
yards and a touchdown.
Through the first three weeks of this season, Pitta ranks second among
Baltimore players with 16 catches and 125 receiving yards.
The Ravens had locked up Pitta, who recorded 61 receptions and seven
touchdowns during a breakout 2012 campaign, with a five-year, $32 million
contract in March.
=== Eagles' Kelce headed for surgery ===
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Eagles' injury-riddled
offensive line will have to make do without another key member for an extended
period, as head coach Chip Kelly announced Monday that center Jason Kelce will
undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia.
Kelce sustained the injury early in the second half of Philadelphia's 37-34
home win on Sunday. The team has yet to give a timetable for his return,
though Philadelphia radio station WIP reported that the fourth-year pro could
miss up to two months.
The Eagles are already without two other starting linemen in left guard Evan
Mathis and right tackle Lane Johnson. Mathis, who sprained his left knee in
the season opener, is currently on injured reserve/designated to return and
won't be eligible to come back until at least mid-November. Johnson still has
to serve one more game on a suspension for violating the NFL's policy on
Additionally, backup tackle Allen Barbre was placed on IR following Week 1
after incurring a high ankle sprain in the Eagles' win over Jacksonville on
Kelly said David Molk will take over at center in Kelce's absence and make his
first career start in this Sunday's game at San Francisco.
Kelce has started all 37 games he's appeared in since being selected by the
Eagles in the sixth round of the 2011 draft. The 26-year-old suffered a
season-ending torn ACL during Week 2 of the 2012 campaign, but returned to
play in all 16 contests as well as Philadelphia's loss to New Orleans in the
NFC Wild Card Round last season.
=== Double Checked: Tulloch suffers torn ACL ===
Allen Park, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Tests on Monday revealed that Detroit
Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch suffered a torn ACL in his left knee Sunday
and will be lost for the season.
Tulloch was injured when celebrating a sack of Green Bay quarterback Aaron
Rodgers. The linebacker jumped, did the popular "Discount Double Check" motion
across his belt and suffered the injury while landing.
"You're passionate about the game and you want to get up and celebrate and
people do it many times," said Tulloch after the game. "It's unfortunate that
it happened to me."
Tulloch had 20 tackles and two sacks in three games this season.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he doesn't plan on squashing post-play
celebrations in the wake of the injury.
"It's not going to happen," said Caldwell on Monday when announcing the
injury. "This is an emotional game ... we want enthusiasm."
=== Broken fibula ends season for Chargers' Woodhead ===
San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy
announced Monday that running back Danny Woodhead will miss the rest of the
season with a broken fibula.
Woodhead was carted off the field in the first quarter of Sunday's 22-10 win
at Buffalo. His right leg twisted awkwardly underneath him when he was
tackled at the end of a 1-yard carry less than 3 1/2 minutes into the game.
Woodhead signed a two-year contract extension prior to training camp after
setting career highs in receptions (76), receiving yards (605) and receiving
touchdowns (six) last season with the Chargers. He also added 429 yards and
two scores on 106 carries.
=== Titans' Locker has right wrist injury ===
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt
revealed during his Monday press conference that starting quarterback Jake
Locker hurt his right wrist during Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Whisenhunt said that Locker underwent an MRI to determine the extent of the
injury and his status for this Sunday's game at Indianapolis will be
determined later in the week.
If Locker cannot go, veteran Charlie Whitehurst will draw the start under
Locker struggled for a second straight week during Tennessee's 33-7 rout at
the hands of the undefeated Bengals, completing just 17-of-34 passes for 185
yards and two interceptions. The embattled former first-round selection also
was picked off twice in a home loss to Dallas the previous Sunday.
Injuries have plagued Locker throughout his four-year pro career. A sprained
hip and a foot problem that required surgery limited him to just seven games
last season, and he missed five weeks in 2012 due a dislocated left shoulder.
=== Redskins place Hall on IR ===
Ashburn, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Redskins placed cornerback
DeAngelo Hall and safety Duke Ihenacho on injured reserve Monday.
Hall ruptured his left Achilles tendon in the third quarter of Sunday's 37-34
loss at Philadelphia. The game was the 70th straight in which he had played.
Ihenacho suffered a fractured heel bone during the 37-34 loss to the Eagles.
The Redskins promoted cornerback Chase Minnifield from the practice squad to
take Hall's spot on the roster.
The club also terminated the contract of linebacker Darryl Sharpton, who had
been on IR.
=== Lions sign K Henery, release Freese ===
Allen Park, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Lions signed kicker Alex
Henery and released rookie kicker Nate Freese on Monday.
The Lions selected Freese in the seventh round of this year's draft, but he
missed four field goals through the first three games. All three of his
successful makes came from 30 yards or less.
Henery, meanwhile, comes to Detroit after being released by Philadelphia
before the start of the season.
Over three years with the Eagles, he made 74-of-86 field goal attempts with a
long of 51.
=== Braves fire Wren; John Hart named interim GM ===
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Braves have fired general
manager Frank Wren.
Braves president John Schuerholz announced the decision Monday, a day after
the club was officially eliminated from playoff contention.
The Braves were tied for first place at the All-Star break and still in the
hunt for a wild card berth heading into the final month, but a 4-14 mark in
September has dropped the team to 76-79 entering Monday's action.
"It was a cumulative effect," said Schuerholz about the reason for his
decision at a Monday news conference. "Over time, we just felt for the well-
being of our organization and the well-being of our major league team that the
time had come for us to change directions with our baseball operations
John Hart has been named the interim GM. Hart, who joined the Braves in
November 2013 as a senior advisor, was a highly successful general manager for
the Indians and Rangers. He also currently serves as an analyst for the MLB
Schuerholz, Hart and former manager Bobby Cox will lead the search for a full-
time general manager.
The future of Braves manager Fred Gonzalez has not yet been discussed.
"I have not spoken to (Gonzalez) about that particular matter," Schuerholz
added. "The goal of our transition team is to take our time and evaluate the
organization from top to bottom. When we get to the point where decisions are
made and we need to communicate with people, we'll do that then, but we
have not begun that process."
Wren had been the club's general manager since October 2007, taking over the
baseball operations when Schuerholz moved into the role of president. The
Braves reached the playoffs three times under Wren, including an NL East
championship last year.
However, Atlanta lost in the division series in 2010 as a wild card and again
last year, while also losing in the NL wild card game in 2012.
The Braves enjoyed tremendous success under Schuerholz from 1991-2007, winning
14 division titles, five National League championships and the 1995 World
Wren was in his 15th season with the Braves, first serving as Schuerholz's
assistant from 2000-07.
=== Padres' Cashner earns NL Weekly award ===
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - San Diego Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner
was named the National League's Player of the Week for games ending Sept. 21.
Cashner went 2-0 with 14 strikeouts in victories over the Phillies and Giants
last week, tossing a two-hit shutout against the former and eight innings of
two-run ball against the latter.
This is Cashner's first ever weekly award.
Also considered for the award were Chicago's Chris Coghlan, Colorado's Michael
Cuddyer, Los Angeles' Matt Kemp and Washington's Drew Storen and Stephen
=== Mavs sign Doron Lamb ===
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Mavericks signed guard Doron Lamb
Lamb, 22, averaged 3.6 points in 53 games as a reserve for Orlando last
Selected by Milwaukee in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Kentucky,
Lamb has averaged 3.5 points and 1.0 rebound in 100 career games with the
Bucks and Magic.
=== Former NBA center Jones passes away ===
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Caldwell Jones, who played 14 seasons
in the NBA and twice earned All-Defensive Team honors, died Sunday from a
heart attack at the age of 64.
The Philadelphia 76ers, whom Jones spent his first six NBA seasons with
following a three-year tenure in the ABA, confirmed Jones' death in a
statement released Monday.
"We are truly saddened to learn of the passing of a special member of the
Sixers family, Caldwell Jones," Sixers CEO Scott O'Neil said in the statement.
"He was a consummate teammate, a friend to many and a player who was beloved
and respected throughout the league. Our franchise and fans will always
remember the impact and contributions Caldwell made to the city of
Philadelphia. On behalf of our entire organization, we extend our deepest
condolences to the entire Jones family during this difficult time."
Jones averaged 7.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks over 1,068 NBA games
from 1976-90 and was named to the league's All-Defensive Team following the
1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons while still with the Sixers. The Arkansas native
also played for Houston, Chicago, Portland and San Antonio.
The 76ers selected Jones in the second round (32nd overall) of the 1973 NBA
Draft and joined the team following the ABA's merger with the NBA in 1976.
=== Bulls bring back Mohammed ===
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nazr Mohammed will play his 17th season in
the NBA after re-signing with the Chicago Bulls on Monday.
Mohammed returns on a one-year contract. He spent the last two seasons playing
in his hometown of Chicago.
The 6-foot-10 center out of Kentucky was drafted 29th overall by the Jazz in
1998 and was traded to the 76ers on draft night. Along with Philadelphia and
Chicago, Mohammed played for six other franchises.
"I can't lie, I never could have envisioned this," Mohammed said. "If you get
to 10 years, that's a hell of an accomplishment. I was hoping to get there and
be at a point where I still loved playing. Now, I still do, along with the
preparation and the camaraderie. It helps having played for some great coaches
and great organizations."
Mohammed holds career averages of 5.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. He
needs just 23 appearances this season to reach 1,000 career regular season
=== Luiten jumps to 36 in world; Furyk, Stenson swap spots ===
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Joost Luiten emerged from a crowded top
of the leaderboard at the Wales Open on Sunday to win by one shot, and that
victory propelled him up 12 spots to No. 36 in this week's world rankings.
Luiten shot an even-par 71 on Sunday and finished one shot ahead of Tommy
Fleetwood and Shane Lowry at 14-under 270. Luiten was previously No. 48 in the
With the PGA Tour not in action last week, there was not much change to the
world's top players. This year's Open champion and PGA Championship winner
Rory McIlroy remained the No. 1 player in the world followed by Adam Scott and
The only change within the top 20 was Jim Furyk and Henrik Stenson swapping
spots. Furyk jumped one to No. 4, while Stenson fell back to No. 5. Justin
Rose, Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler rounded out the
top 10 from No. 6.
Nos. 11 through 20 remained the same as well, with Phil Mickelson, Martin
Kaymer, Jordan Spieth, Billy Horschel, Tiger Woods, Zach Johnson, Dustin
Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Jimmy Walker and Hideki Matsuyama holding firm.
=== Hur up to No. 65 in the world with win ===
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Mi Jung Hur set a 72-hole scoring
record at last week's Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic to earn a 4-shot victory, and
that win propelled her up 29 spots to No. 65 in this week's world rankings.
Three of Hur's four rounds were in the 60s, including a final-round, 6-under
66. She finished the week at 21-under-par 267 and it was her second victory on
the LPGA Tour.
Stacy Lewis remained the top player in the world and the rest of the top nine
- Inbee Park, Lydia Ko, Suzann Pettersen, Karrie Webb, So Yeon Ryu, Michelle
Wie, Lexi Thompson and Shanshan Feng - all stayed put as well.
Anna Nordqvist jumped one spot and into the top 10 at No. 10, while Hyo-Joo
Kim fell one to No. 11. Cristie Kerr, Na Yeong Choi and Paula Creamer remained
Nos. 12-14, while Azahara Munoz and Ha Na Jang swapped spots, with Munoz up to
Lizette Salas, Angela Stanford, Amy Yang and Sun Ju Ahn also stayed the same
as they rounded out the top 20. They are 17-20, respectively.
=== Golf Hall of Fame moves ceremony locations for '15, '19 ===
St. Augustine, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The induction ceremony for the World
Golf Hall of Fame will rotate to new places for two of the next three
ceremonies the hall announced on Monday.
The 2015 ceremony will be the first one outside of the United States. It will
take place at the University of St. Andrews, which is blocks from the Old
Course at St. Andrews. The ceremony will take place on July 13, the Monday of
Open Championship week.
"I am absolutely delighted that the first induction ceremony to be staged
internationally is coming to St. Andrews," said Peter Dawson, chief executive
of The Royal & Ancient. "The Class of 2015 will have a truly special
experience in being recognized in the place where golf began. There will be
many thousands of visitors to St. Andrews during the Open Championship and the
induction ceremony will start the week with real fanfare."
In 2017, the ceremony will return to the World Golf Village in Florida.
With the 2019 U.S. Open Championship slated for Pebble Beach, the induction
ceremony will head to the west coast and will be staged Monday of championship
"This expanded schedule is an important step for the World Golf Hall of Fame
as it continues to grow and cultivate audiences in the U.S. and abroad," said
Tim Finchem, PGA Tour commissioner and chairman of the World Golf Foundation
Board of Directors. "The Board of Directors believes this is an excellent
opportunity to raise the profile of the induction ceremony."
=== Sharapova moves on; Radwanska, Ivanovic exit Wuhan ===
Wuhan, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Fourth seed Maria Sharapova was a come-
from-behind second-round winner, while her fellow top-10 stars Agnieszka
Radwanska and Ana Ivanovic came up losers at the $2.44 million inaugural Wuhan
The former world No. 1 and reigning French Open champion Sharapova overcame
two-time Grand Slam titlist and fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6, 6-2,
6-2, while another second-rounder saw France's Caroline Garcia follow up
her first-round victory over Venus Williams by toppling the fifth-seeded
Radwanska 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (9-7) on the hardcourts at the Optics Valley
International Tennis Center.
Meanwhile, Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was leading the ninth-seeded
former No. 1 Ivanovic 7-5, 6-5 when the Serb retired on Day 2. A weary
Ivanovic was fresh off her title in Tokyo on Sunday.
In other opening-round action involving seeds, No. 10 and former world No. 1
Jelena Jankovic beat American Christina McHale 6-4, 6-4; No. 11 Sara Errani
doused Brit Heather Watson 7-5, 6-4; American Madison Keys was leading No. 12
Slovak Dominika Cibulkova 4-6, 6-3 when the 2014 Australian Open runner-up
retired; German Sabine Lisicki dismissed No. 14 Czech Lucie Safarova 7-5, 2-6,
6-3; and Aussie qualifier Jarmila Gajdosova drove out No. 15 Flavia Pennetta
Last week's Guangzhou, China, runner-up Alize Cornet whipped Swiss Romina
Oprandi 6-2, 6-1, while last week's Seoul champion Karolina Pliskova of the
Czech Republic erased former U.S. Open champ Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-4 in the
Other opening-round wins came for American Coco Vandeweghe, German Mona
Barthel, Swiss Timea Bacsinszky, Aussie Casey Dellacqua, and Spaniards Carla
Suarez Navarro and Garbine Muguruza.
Several stars will take to the courts for second-round action on Tuesday,
including current world No. 1 Serena Williams, French Open runner-up Simona
Halep, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard,
and former top-ranked star and last week's Tokyo runner-up Caroline Wozniacki.
The U.S. Open champ Serena will take on Cornet, while Halep will meet
Muguruza, Kvitova will battle Italian qualifier Karin Knapp, Bouchard will be
opposed by Barthel, and Wozniacki will tangle with Suarez Navarro.
Serena is currently riding a 12-match winning streak, capturing titles at
her last two events at the U.S. Open and in Cincinnati.
Also on Tuesday, Jankovic will face Vandeweghe and Errani will encounter
American Alison Riske.
Almost all the WTA's top-20 players are in Wuhan, with the notable exception
of hometown favorite Li Na, who announced her retirement last Friday.
The first-ever Wuhan champion will pocket $441,000.
=== Monaco, Bolelli advance in China ===
Shenzhen, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Former top-10 star Juan Monaco and
Italian Simone Bolelli were a pair of first-round winners Monday at the
inaugural Shenzhen Open tennis event.
Monaco handled fellow Argentine Federico Delbonis 6-3, 7-5, while Bolelli
erased Aussie Matthew Ebden 6-4, 6-2 on the hardcourts at Shenzhen Longgang
Also on Day 1, Indian Somdev Devvarman got past Chinese wild card Xin Gao 6-3,
This week's top seeds are former French Open runner-up David Ferrer and two-
time major champion Andy Murray, who will meet Devvarman in the round of 16.
The first-ever Shenzhen titlist will earn $106,970.
=== Cuevas wins Kuala Lumpur opener ===
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Fifth seed Pablo Cuevas was among
Monday's first-round winners at the Malaysian Open tennis event.
The Uruguayan Cuevas handled veteran Austrian left-hander Jurgen Melzer 6-4,
7-6 (7-1) on the hardcourts at Putra Indoor Stadium.
Also on Day 1, Croat Ivan Dodig topped Japan's Hiroki Moriya 7-6 (8-6), 6-1
and Serbian wild card Filip Krajinovic drilled Japanese wild card Taro Daniel
Last year, Portuguese Joao Sousa beat Frenchman and two-time runner-up Julien
Benneteau in the Kuala Lumpur final. Sousa is seeded sixth this week, while a
fourth-seeded Benneteau will meet Krajinovic in the second round.
The top seeds here are Japan's Kei Nishikori and Latvian Ernests Gulbis.
Nishikori was this month's surprise U.S. Open runner-up.
The 2014 Kuala Lumpur champ will claim $165,000.
=== Arena Football League names Butera new commissioner ===
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Arena Football League has selected Scott
Butera as its new commissioner.
Butera will leave his post as CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino to become the
seventh commissioner in Arena history.
"I am extremely excited to be joining the Arena Football League as its next
commissioner," said Butera in a statement Monday. "The AFL has a rich history
and it provides fans with a high quality, highly entertaining brand of
football at prices fans can afford. With a strong core product and owners who
are truly committed to the long-term success of the league, I am convinced
that we can leverage our media contracts to produce increased exposure for the
league and the sponsor revenue opportunities that go along with it."
Butera has spent most of his career in top management positions with
nationally recognized entertainment brands such as Foxwoods and Tropicana
Entertainment. At Foxwoods, he secured sports partnerships with professional
teams in Boston (Red Sox) and New York (Yankees, Rangers, Knicks, Nets,
Madison Square Garden).
Jerry Kurz had been the AFL's commissioner since 2010 and will remain as the
09/23 03:40:35 ET