Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has been hit with a team fine for criticising Matthew Wade over his decisions as captain of the Victoria state side, skipper Steve Smith said on Saturday.Maxwell was recalled to the squad for Sunday’s one-day international against New Zealand and took the opportunity to express how “painful” it had been for him to bat behind wicketkeeper Wade for Victoria.Australia coach Darren Lehmann said on Friday he would speak to power-hitting Maxwell to try to resolve the issue and on Saturday Smith said the players had decided to take action.”Everyone was disappointed in his comments, I’ve expressed that with him myself and spoke to the team,” Smith told reporters.”One of our values is respect and having respect for your teammates, opposition, fans and media.”I thought what he said was very disrespectful to a team mate and his Victorian captain. The leadership group got together and we decided to fine Glenn. We thought that was a sufficient punishment.”Maxwell will still be considered for Sunday’s series opener at the Sydney Cricket Ground.”He’s available for selection and obviously the selectors will weigh up what they think is the best team for tomorrow,” Smith added.With Maxwell having apparently burnt his bridges in Victoria, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Saturday that New South Wales would be prepared to offer him a home from next year.Although undoubtedly a hugely talented batsman, Maxwell has struggled for runs and failed to nail down a spot in the Australia team over the last year, missing the series against Sri Lanka and South Africa.advertisementAustralia are ranked number one in the world in the 50-over format but, after being swept 5-0 in South Africa, have plenty to prove in the series against New Zealand, which also includes matches in Canberra and Melbourne.The Black Caps also hold the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy after beating the world champions 2-1 in a series in New Zealand in February.”We’ve generally played some pretty good cricket here in Australia,” Smith said.”They are a quality team so we’re going to have to be at our best to beat them in this series.”
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has admitted his “surprise” that Juventus elected to pay €100 million (£89m/$116m) to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.The deal has been the most notable of the summer to date, with the Portuguese icon leaving the Bernabeu after nine years in the Spanish capital, where he broke a raft of records and wrote himself into club legend by scoring a rate of greater than a goal a game.Although Juventus have praised the physical state of the 33-year-old, the German director believes they received the thin end of the deal to sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “We at Bayern Munich would not invest so much money in a 33-year-old,” he told TZ. “Marketing has certainly played a big role in this transfer.“It’s the deal that’s received most attention so far. And I understand that. This is about a player who has won everything with Real in the past few years. He has been voted the best player in the world five times, so all in all he is a great footballer.“Nevertheless, I was surprised that Andrea Agnelli finally decided to do business.”Rummenigge understands, however, why the deal was concluded.“In Italy, Agnelli has earned great acclaim – from Juve’s point of view the transfer makes sense, after all, Italian football had recently lost some ground. With this big deal, the Italians are now hoping that they will once again come into the focus of world football,” he said.Meanwhile, he does not think it was possible that another Bundesliga club might have signed the European champion and has warned his German compatriots over complacency.“Only Bayern could have,” he said, when asked about Ronaldo in Germany. “It’s noticeable that the top stars are not flocking to Germany in droves. And then only to Bayern. “We have to be careful in the Bundesliga because we’re starting to stew in a juice of satisfaction. A few years ago, we were second in the UEFA ranking, now we’re fourth. If this trend continues, we’ll lose Champions League places in the not too distant future. And then the howling will start, but the child will already be in the well.”Bayern’s Bundesliga defence starts on August 24 with a home match against Hoffenheim.
All eyes are on La Sultana del Norte this weekend with former Mexico manager Miguel Herrera taking his Club America side north to face current Mexico interim Tuca Ferretti and Tigres.Herrera’s side sits second, but after Copa MX elimination and a draw with rival Chivas last week, the demanding fans of Mexico’s most successful club are hoping for more.Ferretti is dealing with his own midweek Copa MX exit, and he knows the seventh-place Tigres don’t have much of a cushion with six matches remaining before the field is set for the eight-team Liguilla. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Game Tigres vs. Club America Date Saturday, October 6 Time 8 p.m. ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States, the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream Univision Deportes Network fubo TV (7-day free trial) Squads & Team News Position Tigres players Goalkeepers Guzman, Fernandez, Ortega Defenders Jimenez, Juninho, Ayala, Torres Nilo, Rodriguez, Sanchez, Meza, Diaz, Cruz, Tercero Midfielders Carioca, Zelarayan, Torres, Sosa, Pizarro, Aquino, Damm, Celaya, Acosta, Duenas, Cerna, Reyes Forwards Valencia, Gignac, Vargas, Da Silva, Duran, Vega, Cruz, Quinones Javier Aquino is fit to return to league play after starting and scoring in the club’s midweek Copa MX defeat to Pachuca. Typical left back Jorge Torres Nilo has been playing more center back with Juninho showing his age and struggling this campaign.Potential Tigres XI: Guzman; Rodriguez, Ayala, Torres Nilo, Duenas; Pizarro, Carioca; Quinones, Zelarayan, Aquino; Gignac Position Club America players Goalkeepers Marchesin, Jimenez, Estrada Defenders Vargas, Sanchez, Alvarez, Reyes, Valdez, Aguilera, Aguilar, Torres, Leon, Zamora Midfielders G. Rodriguez, Uribe, Dominguez, Ibarguen, Corona, Arce, Menez, Insaurralde, Lainez, Lopez, Moreno, Mina, V. Rodriguez, Aguilar Forwards Martinez, Martin, Peralta, Gonzalez Diego Lainez has an ankle injury suffered in training that will keep him from traveling for this match and also kept him out of this month’s Mexico call-up. After a goal in the Clasico Nacional, Andres Ibarguen may win a starting spot from Cecilio Dominguez on the left wing.Potential America XI: Marchesin; Aguilar, Valez, Aguilera, Sanchez; Ibarra, Rodriguez, Uribe, Dominguez; Martinez, PeraltaMatch Preview It’s been a long time since Tigres or America tasted defeat in league play. America is undefeated in its last five matches, while Tigres have taken at least a point out of their last six.Yet, with the table extremely compact and both teams suffering Copa MX defeats – and home draws against bitter rivals – in recent weeks, neither team is feeling secure despite the positive run of form.America manager Miguel Herrera has designated penalty-kick takers after a shootout loss in the cup and Mateus Uribe’s kick being saved by Raul Gudino on Sunday in the Clasico Nacional – a match after which Herrera was incensed. He felt only his team came out to win the match, while Chivas were playing too defensively.Ferretti’s teams are known for caution, but he’ll be looking for three points out of Saturday’s clash. A double from Andre-Pierre Gignac last week against Queretaro got his team back on track.Defense always is a Tigres hallmark, and even though Ferretti has had to put players into positions they’re often not used to playing (like putting Jorge Torres Nilo as a center back), his team boasts the second best defensive record with only nine goals allowed.Between the good defense, the fact that Tigres have lost just one of their last 30 league home matches at El Volcan, and the fact that Herrera has never beaten Tigres in nine tries as America manager, and it’s clear Las Aguilas have plenty of work to do if they’re going to keep their distance from Tigres and stay in one of the top spots in the table.
Ravindra Jadeja, after an immensely successful home Test season, has turned his focus on the Indian Premier League. He was a potent weapon for Virat Kohli as India went on the rampage, winning 10 of 13 Tests.Jadeja, in fact, finished with the second highest wickets ever in a home Test season. The Saurashtra all-rounder was advised two weeks’ rest to recuperate from the hectic schedule but he is now back in action for the Gujarat Lions in the Indian Premier League.Jaddu, as he is fondly called by his teammates, is yet to produce one of his exceptional performances for which is well noted but he has already left his imprint on the tournament. He was seen a new-look beard and hairstyle.Change the game on the field. Change the look in the dressing room. #BreakTheBeard #rajputboy #newlook #timeforchange #vivoipl #glvsrcb pic.twitter.com/iEr7i7gPIL- Ravindrasinh jadeja (@imjadeja) April 18, 2017The pictures went viral on social media and Jadeja, the entertainer was news all over again.Speaking exclusively to India Today, Jadeja said he had got bored of his old look and wanted to try something new.”I got bored of my old look and wanted to change my look. Everyone looked the same in the change room. So I tried a new look.”Jadeja is of course not just about hairstyles and beards. He is the No.1 Test bowler in the world and it has taken him plenty of hard work to get there.”I have worked hard on my skills. I worked a lot on my bowling as well. Wanted to be a key player in all formats and my hard work paid off,” he told India Today.advertisementJadeja’s rapid rise as a Test bowler may surprise many but listening to him speak about it, it sounds like the No.1 ranking was waiting to happen.”I backed myself to do well in Tests. I have improved my temperament as well,” he said.Jadeja has so far taken only one wicket in the three matches he has played for Gujarat this season. However, there’s a lot more to come from him in the weeks ahead and the Lions are banking on him to play a stellar role in their campaign which needs some serious momentum.(Watch Boria Majumdar in conversation with Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina and Andrew Tye on India Today at 7:30 PM today)
Still mourning the death of his elder brother and former WWE star Matt Anoa’i, aka Rosey, former WWE Champion Roman Reigns is gearing up to fight against Braun Strowman at WWE Payback on Sunday.Reigns suffered a brutal attacks at the hands of Strowman two weeks ago, which saw him being taken away in the ambulance and subsequently, he lost lost his brother at the age of 47.Rosey first came to WWE as part of 3 Minute Warning, Eric Bischoff’s enforcers along with the future Umaga. Following the break-up of the team, he was part of an angle with Shane Helms during Helms’ “Hurricane” gimmick.Anoa’i and Reigns are the sons of WWE Hall of Famer Sika, a member of the Wild Samoans.In a coversation with wwe.com, Reigns opened up about the loss.”Right now, it’s one of those situations where it’s a lot of mixed feelings. When you live in a big family, it’s always great to be able to come together, but to have to come together to send off a brother – and not only was he my brother, but in our family, even when you’re cousins, we’re all so close that we feel like brothers. That’s the type of connection we have in our family. It was an extremely sad weekend, and it’s still really tough. Everybody’s grieving. But to see our family come together and have a hundred-plus family and friends come together to celebrate my brother’s life really meant a lot. It just continually picks up our family and keeps us moving on.”advertisementBattling the emotionally tough week, Reigns warned Strowman about the storm that going to hit him this weekend.”I’m the top dog, I’m the big dog in this yard. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I already took out the greatest legend of all time. If anybody should be worried, it should be Braun Strowman. He’s got a whole storm of payback that’s about to come his way this Sunday.”
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who suffered a serious hand injury four months ago, has finally returned to the tennis court.Last month in December, Kvitova suffered severe injuries to her playing hand after she was attacked by a knife-wielding intruder at her home in Czech Republic.The Czech on Tuesday posted a picture of herself hitting a ball on a practice court in Monaco on her Facebook account.”Hello guys, I hope this picture makes you as happy as it makes me!” Kvitova wrote.”I am in Monaco and guess what? I’m back on the tennis court, hitting with some proper balls,” she added.Kvitova, who won the women’s singles titles at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, had ruled out of Hopman Cup mixed teams’ tennis tournament due to a foot injury.Last month, she had entered the draw for French Open scheduled to take place from May 22.
Kolkata Knight Riders received a big boost as explosive Australian batsman Chris Lynn returned to the team for their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday.KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, who won the toss and opted to field, made three changes to the squad.”Chris Lynn is in for Coulter-Nile, Ankit Rajpoot replaces Suryakumar Yadav and Piyush Chawla comes in place of Kuldeep Yadav,” he said.Having taken the Indian Premier League by storm with his unbeaten 93 in a record Twenty20 opening partnership of 184 with Gautam Gambhir in KKR’s opener against Gujarat Lions, the Aussie aggravated an old injury on his left shoulder.The Queenslander hit the nets for the first time on the eve of KKR’s game against Rising Pune Supergiant more than three weeks after injuring his left shoulder while attempting a catch during the match against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on April 9.Lynn’s inclusion will further boost an already strong KKR batting line-up. The 27-year-old’s comeback could also see the end of Sunil Narine as an opener, an experiment which has so far worked hot and cold for the men in purple.Following two back-to-back losses, KKR will look to arrest the slide and stay strong in contention for IPL 2017 playoffs.
New Delhi, Oct 12 (PTI) India topped the medal tally with seven gold, nine silver and five bronze medals in the Track Asia Cup at the IGI Sports Complex here today.Indian Cycling team today finished their campaign by winning four medals, including two silver and two bronze on final day of the tournament.China finished second with four gold and two silver medals while Indonesia secured third place with four Gold, one silver and two bronze medals.In the morning session, India juniors Mayur Pawar and J K Ashwin secured silver and bronze respectively in Sprint event.Mayur clocked 11.045s with a speed of 65.188km/hr, while Ashwin finished in 11.098s with 64.877km/hr speed.Indonesias Terry Yudha won gold with 10.850s, his speed was 66.359km/hr. The bronze medal of Women Elite Sprint event was won by P Nayana Rajesh with 11.940s. Chinas Chaorui Song and Yufang Guo bagged the gold & silver respectively.Ranjit Singh added a silver to Indias tally after clinching the medal in Men Keirin event. Malaysias Muhammad Fadhil won the gold, while his teammate Muhammad Khairil Nizam Rasol bagged the bronze.In Men Omnium event, Ashton Lambe of USA added a silver to the gold medal that he won yesterday in the 4Km Individual Pursuit event.Kazakhstans Assylkhan Turar secured the gold with 163 points, while Chinas Liang Guo earned 135 points to clinch the bronze.Biggest upset for India was when Deborah finished fifth in her favourite event Keirin, even though she secured a berth for the World Cup.advertisementIn Keirin, out of 5 rounds, in last 2.5 rounds cyclists have to defeat through their speed.China cyclists Shanju Bao and Chaorui Song claimed gold and silver respectively, while P Nayana Rajesh, who is representing Indias second team SAINCA claimed bronze. PTI ATK ATK
Roger Federer went down memory lane to the time when he was a ball boy and expressed that he feels he’s still the same.Federer began his playing career in the senior circuit in 1998 and since then the Swiss maestro has won 19 Grand Slam titles, the most by a male player.But only a few people know that Federer started his journey in tennis as a ball boy in Basel 1993. Recalling his cherished memory of receiving the medal from the then world No.2 Michael Stich, the Swiss told that the medal is still with him.”I am glancing at the medal, like ‘oh here he comes’ and it’s like a souvenier, I still have them,” Federer shared in a video interview shared by Tennis TV on Twitter.”At heart, I’m always going to be a ball boy” ?Âº?@rogerfederer: from ball boy to champion in Basel… pic.twitter.com/I4ueytUBSf- Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 24, 2017Federer conceded that he was a ball boy for two years and he loved it.”It feels like it was yesterday. I kind of remember you know, I did this for two years and it was Michael Stich, who is the tournament director of Hamburg now. It’s a great memory for me, I loved being a ball boy here.”I was able to see the best players in the world first hand and see how they prepared, how they would sweat, how they deal with the pressure and yes, it was good moments for me.”Federer went on to admit that the little ball boy still resides him and “at heart, I am always going to be a ball boy.”advertisement”I still get them today actually from the ball girls and ball boys, here when I meet them after the tournament and they also give me a medal. I guess it means I’m still a ball boy too because at heart, I am always going to be a ball boy.”Federer has won four titles this year, including two Grand Slams — Australian Open and Wimbledon, after a six-month injury lay off in the second half of the last year.
World number one Simona Halep continued her dominance ahead of the Australian Open with a crushing straight sets victory over fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu to reach the Shenzhen Open final in China on Friday.In an hour an 29 minutes, Halep triumphed over Begu 6-1, 6-4 and sealed a second career final at Shenzhen.Halep’s precision and counter-attack helped her dominate Begu and her 15 winners on the day powered her to victory.The top seed began in a perfect fashion and broke Begu early on to race to a 4-1 lead. Begu kept faltering, unable to find her stride, and it was a comfortable first set victory for the world No.1.It was not all that easy for Halep in the second set as Begu kept her on her toes, even leading the set 3-2 at a point. However, Halep put that big forehand of hers to perfect use and sealed the match.”It was a tough match,” Halep said in a courtside interview. “I know she is a strong player and in the second set you could see she was improving her game so it was a tougher battle.”I think I was strong enough to stay there and hit the ball stronger in the end because the energy was falling a little bit. I came back, I served pretty well in the last game and I’m pretty proud of my victory today, it was a tough one.”Halep will be up against defending Katerina Siniakova of Czech Republic, who later in the day beat former world No.1 Maria Sharapova in a gruelling three-setter.advertisementSharapova battled for almost two hours against the defending champion but the challenge proved to be too strong for the Russian star, who is still trying to hit her stride since returning from the doping ban.In an hour and 55 minutes, Siniakova beat Sharapova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to set up the title defence clash against Halep.It were Siniakova’s 10 aces as compared to Sharapova’s just one that made the difference in the match.Siniakova completely dominated Sharapova in the first set and without much breaking much sweat, she powered to a comprehensive first set victory.Sharapova, however, came roaring back in the second set and upped her game to take the second set 6-3. Sharapova’s fighting spirit, something that has been her hallmark throughout her career, shone through in this set.It was a very close game in the final set but again, Siniakova planted those big serves in the right moments to edge out Sharapova.(With inputs from Reuters)
The best of both sides was on display in the first Test between South Africa and India in Cape Town over the last three days and Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis reckons the match was a great advert for Test cricket.It was anybody’s game when South Africa got bowled out for 130 in their second innings with 8 of their wickets falling in the morning session on Day 4 for just 65 runs.India needed 208 to win the match but the hosts made sure to make life hell for the visiting batsmen even when they were one bowler short as the great Dale Steyn was ruled out of the match with a heel injury.Vernon Philander, the bowler who has probably the best record at Newlands, continued his love affair with the ground claiming a career-best 6 for 42 as India got bowled out for 135 inside two sessions.”There was this flow the whole time: India’s on top then South Africa’s on top, then they are taking the game to us and we are taking it back to them. Just as an advert for Test cricket, that’s as good as it gets,” Du Plessis said after the match.Philander has a terrific record at his home ground in Cape Town where he has now claimed 47 wickets at an average of 16.34 and a strike rate of 33.9, which is actually the second best among fast bowlers who have taken more than 40 wickets at a particular venue. It was Philander’s fourth five-wicket haul at Newlands.India staged a fightback of sorts when Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar got together for the eighth wicket as the duo added 49 runs and briefly kept alive India’s chances but Philander made sure there were no hiccups as he removed Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah in the same over to clinch a 72-run victory for his side.advertisement”There was no boring Test cricket, it was a lot of action. And that’s why we absolutely loved this Test match. And even if we had lost this game, we would have been very disappointed but would have said the way this game was played was remarkable,” Du Plessis added.The series now moves on to SuperSport Park in Centurion where Steyn has the best record among fast bowlers. He has taken 56 wickets at the ground at an average of 17.12 and a strike rate of 30.3 which is the best among speedsters with more than 40 wickets at a venue.But the Proteas will miss the services of the great fast bowler in the remaining two games and have added seamers Duanne Olivier and Lungi Ngidi to their squad for the second Test against India which starts on Saturday.
Hardiik Pandya has been looked as Kapil Dev’s natural successor ever since he made his debut in Indian blues against New Zealand at Dharamsala last year.He has been a different beast all together in 2017, after establishing himself as a regular in the Indian national men’s cricket team . He made his debut this year in July against Sri Lanka.On Sunday, he picked up his 30th wicket in 2017 to equal the feat of arguably the greatest Indian all-rounder, Kapil Dev’s record of scoring 500-plus runs and 30-plus wickets in one day international in a calendar year.Kapil Dev had managed the feat back in 1986.In that calendar year, he played 27 matches and scored 517 runs, with a highest of 58. With the ball, he had picked up 32 wickets with a best of 4/30.Pandya has had a very similar 2017, in terms of success with the ball.He has picked up 31 ODI wickets, with best figures of 3/40, and has been no slump with the bat either. He has 557 runs so far with his career best 83 coming in this year against Australia. He is due another go wit hthe bat in the second innings.In the third and final ODI of the three match series, Pandya finished the Sri Lankan innings with respectable figures of 2/49 from his 10 overs, considering the fact that Upul Tharanga took him to the swords in his second over, hitting him for five consecutive boundaries. “I have a lot of faith in him (Hardik) as far as any format is concerned. If he grows in confidence you see someone like Ben Stokes, what he does for England, brings in great balance as an all-rounder. I see no reason why Hardik Pandya can’t become that for India,” regular Indian captain, Kohli had said about the young man from Baroda.advertisementHe picked up the two wickets of Sachith Pathirana and Suranga Lakmal and is fifth in the list of most wicket-takers in 2017, and is 26th in the list for batsmen. He has scored four fifties this year.Ahead of the second ODI in Mohali, the 24-year-old took on the 36-year-old MS Dhoni in a 100m race. Dhoni still managed to outrun the youngster.
NEWARK, N.J. – Marshawn Lynch was there. He even talked a bit.Then he was gone, cutting short his Super Bowl media day appearance after 6½ minutes.And then he was back, albeit to the side of the “mixed zone” the NFL created for players not on podiums or in microphone-equipped speaking areas at the Prudential Center.But this time he wasn’t speaking, except briefly to Deion Sanders for NFL Network, to the Seahawks’ website, and to Armed Forces Network.Seattle’s star running back, wearing a cap, hood and dark sunglasses, even acknowledged he was trying to avoid being fined by the league for not meeting his media requirements. That’s why he returned to the floor of the arena rather than disappear completely after he cut short his Q and A with perhaps 100 media members packed together trying to hear his pearls of wisdom.When he came back, one reporter asked Lynch, “Are you trying to avoid being fined by standing here?” Lynch twice nodded his head yes.Earlier this month, Lynch was fined $50,000 for not cooperating with the Seattle media. The NFL put the fine on hold, saying it would be rescinded if he complied with media obligations.“Players are required to participate and he participated. We will continue to monitor the situation,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday.Lynch has required media sessions Jan. 29 and 30. The Seahawks play the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2. There is a history of fines handed out by the NFL during Super Bowl week dating to the 1991 game.Buffalo coach Marv Levy was hit for $5,000 for missing the ’91 media day. Bills running back Thurman Thomas, like Levy a future Hall of Famer, was docked $5,000 for failing to participate in a mandatory interview session, though not on media day, in ’92.Three players have been fined $20,000 for missing media availabilities: Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora in 2012, Patriots left tackle Matt Light and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork for refusing to speak to the media following that Super Bowl.The Oakland Raiders were fined $50,000 as a team for not making all coaches and players available for a required media session in 2003.Along with letting slip a profanity to Sanders, he three times described himself as “smooth” to the Hall of Fame cornerback, adding: “I ain’t never seen no talk that won me nothing.”Earlier, Lynch answered 16 questions at the outset of the Seahawks’ one-hour availability, with topics ranging from the Denver defense to teammate Michael Robinson to, well, why he avoids interviews.“I like to keep it low key,” Lynch said. “I’m just about action. You say ‘hut’ and there’s action. All the unnecessary talk, it don’t do nothing for me. I appreciate that people want to hear from me, but I just go to work and do my thing. You feel me?”Whether Lynch will feel like showing up the next two days, when the Seahawks will be available in a hotel ballroom — no barriers between them and the media — is uncertain.The Seahawks opted to not place Lynch in one of the 17 areas with microphones and name plates identifying the players Tuesday. He also talked to teammates while standing around.Several youngsters in the stands above him asked to have footballs signed and he obliged once they tossed him the souvenirs. He also signed a Seahawks helmet, but he didn’t converse with the fans.While he did that, about five dozen media members stood in front of Lynch and shouted out a few questions. He ignored almost all of them as time ran out in Seattle’s availability.Lynch watched as the scoreboard clock counted down to zero and, when it was announced the Seattle portion of media availability was over, he left for good.“He’s such a major factor on our football team,” coach Pete Carroll said, “but in this setting he becomes somewhat of a recluse and doesn’t want to be a part of it. We try and respect that as much as we can.”Robinson was asked if he advised his backfield mate on how to handle media day.“He’s a grown man,” Robinson said. “I don’t tell him much. I think he knows what he’s doing. He’s got a good plan in place, and as long as he runs inside-outside zone on Sunday, I’m happy with that.”Lynch never has explained his beef with the media. He regularly spoke to reporters until late in the 2012 season. In March of that year, he signed a four-year contract worth $31 million, including a guaranteed $18 million. In July 2012, he was arrested for driving under the influence near his hometown of Oakland, Calif.(By Barry Wilner, AP Pro Football Writer. AP writer Tim Booth contributed to this story)TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK — Players and teams began negotiating just past midnight New York time on July 1, although contracts can’t be signed until July 10, after next season’s salary cap has been set.LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who joined together in Miami in 2010 and have led the Heat to two championships and four straight NBA Finals, all became free agents.Though many expect that trio to stay with the Heat, Carmelo Anthony could be persuaded to leave the New York Knicks for a team he believes gives him a better chance to compete for a championship.He visited Chicago on July 1, and Houston and Dallas also could try to pry the 2012-13 scoring champion away from the Knicks, who can pay him around $30 million more than any team under NBA rules.Longtime stars Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol also are free agents, along with players such as Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Indiana’s Lance Stephenson, who are coming off their best seasons in the league. Nowitzki almost immediately reportedly signed a three-year $30 million deal to stay with the Dallas Mavericks, taking a pay cut.It’s the most anticipated free agency class since 2010, when James led a class that included Wade, Bosh, and other All-Stars such as Amare Stoudemire and Joe Johnson.That free agency period changed the NBA. This one might mostly change the Heat.They are in need of an upgrade after getting smashed by San Antonio in the finals, and the Big Three could help give them the means to make one if they agree to salaries that won’t clog up too much of the cap.Knicks President Phil Jackson hopes Anthony also agrees to take less than a maximum salary, which would be more than $125 million if he stayed in New York.Also in New York, the Brooklyn Nets stagger into free agency without their coach after letting Jason Kidd leave for the Milwaukee Bucks.The teams agreed to a deal on June 30, with the Bucks sending two future second-round picks to the Nets, who allowed Kidd to pursue other jobs after denying his request for more power in the organization.Brooklyn has Pierce and Shaun Livingston among its key players who are free agents.The Los Angeles Lakers have plenty of money to offer, along with the chance to play with Kobe Bryant. Teams such as Phoenix and Atlanta have some good pieces in place and enough cap space to add another.They would love a shot at James, as would his home state Cleveland Cavaliers, the team he left in 2010. But it’s unclear how seriously the four-time MVP will listen to other teams after meeting with six suitors when he was last a free agent.The Cavaliers may not get James back, but they will have their current All-Star for a while. Owner Dan Gilbert wrote on Twitter early on July 1 that he had an agreement on a five-year contract extension with Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft.“Looking forward to the next 6 years of Kyrie Irving in CLE. Just shook hands & intend to sign on the 10th,” Gilbert wrote, adding that he couldn’t be more excited about the Cavs’ future.Players such as Cleveland’s Luol Deng and Washington’s Trevor Ariza could be good fallback options for teams who can’t get James or Anthony.(BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Greek perennial basketball power Olympiakos needed overtime and a sterling performance from Captain Vassilis Spanoulis to beat Lithuania’s Neptunas Klaipeda, 85-81 in European League play.The win came despite more defensive lapses and mental mistakes that have plagued the Reds, who managed to hang on in crunch time against the Lithuanian champions.Neptunas has 11 natives on its 12-man roster, unlike most European teams who have a number of different nationalities, including Olympiakos.The Lithuanians had a five-point lead with two minutes left, 72-67, before the Greek team rallied to tie in 76-76 in regulation time. Spanoulis came through though and finished with 34 points in 41 minutes, including six-of-11 three-pointers. TweetPinShare0 Shares
VIERA, Fla. — Max Scherzer will take fun over flawless in his first start for the Washington Nationals.Scherzer gave up a home run to John Mayberry Jr. in his two-inning debut for Washington, and Kila Ka’aihue hit a two-run shot in the seventh to lead the Nationals to a 5-4 victory over the New York Mets on March 5.Starting the Nationals’ spring opener after signing a seven-year, $210 million contract this winter, Scherzer needed just eight pitches in a perfect first. He gave up two hits in the second.The right-hander called the outing “fun” and said he thought overall that he had a productive start in relation to what he wants to work on this spring.“Really just good command of everything — that’s what I thought I did well today, at least pitching (inside),” Scherzer said. “For the most part I thought I was able to get the ball to the side of the plate I wanted to. For me I was happy with how I went out there, and how I felt.”Tanner Roark replaced Scherzer in the third, but had limited success. He got two of the first three batters he faced out before giving up three earned runs, including a two-run home run by Eric Campbell.STARTING TIMEMets: The 41-year-old Bartolo Colon retired the Nationals 1-2-3 in each of his two innings of work, which included a pair of strikeouts. He said through a translator that he didn’t get to throw every pitch he wanted to, but that he felt he had control of the pitches he used.Nationals: After his strong first inning Scherzer struck out the first batter in the second, before giving up the homer to Mayberry, Jr. For the day he threw 20 of his 29 pitches for strikes, yielding two hits, and striking out two.TRAINING ROOMMets: Manager Terry Collins said he expects it may be a challenge to get staff ace Matt Harvey, who had Tommy John surgery in October, to take it easy this spring.“We all know he’s gonna have to ratchet it down a little bit before he walks out there on that mound,” Collins said. “Every time he’s on the field it means something. … Everything he does, he maxes it out.”Collins said as much as the coaching staff reminds him to go slowly, “He’s gonna show everybody that he’s Matt Harvey.”Nationals: Washington manager Matt Williams said that outfielder Jayson Werth was experiencing normal soreness a day after swinging a bat for the first time. Werth is working his way back from arthroscopic surgery on Jan. 9 to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder.NEW POSITIONSThe Nationals are using a new alignment defensively with four starters transitioning to new primary positions in 2015. Ryan Zimmerman moved from third base to first, Yunel Escobar from shortstop to second, Werth will eventually go from right to left field, and Bryce Harper is going from left to right field. It’s why Williams said the lineup — which mirrored a possible opening-day alignment — will be utilized a lot in the preseason.“Yeah, as much as possible,” Williams said. “It’s important for Desi to work with Yunel, (for) Yunel to work with Zim, and Zim to get accustomed to all the guys in the infield. So from Day 1 we want to do that as much as possible.”UP NEXTMets: Get their first look this spring at Harvey when they host Detroit March 6. He will be followed by Noah Syndergaard, Sean Gilmartin, Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia.Nationals: Jordan Zimmermann is expected to be on the hill March 6 when the Nationals travel to face Atlanta.(KYLE HIGHTOWER)TweetPinShare0 Shares
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks have drafted power forward Dimitrios Agravanis of Greece with the 59th overall pick of the NBA draft.General Manager Wes Wilcox said that the 6-foot-10, 229-pound Agravanis will spend next season overseas.Agravanis was the Hawks’ second draft pick of the night. Atlanta traded the 15th pick to Washington and the 19th pick to New York and acquired Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr.Agravanis, 20, averaged 4.5 points and 2.9 rebounds in 47 games last season for Olympiacos.TweetPinShare0 Shares
Xanthi appears to be the only credible challenger to leader Olympiakos left after the midweek set of Super League fixtures that were rescheduled from last August.The champions are nine points clear at the top of the table after coming from behind to beat Asteras Tripolis 2-1 on Wednesday, and Xanthi saw off host Iraklis 1-0 on Tuesday to remain alone in second as Panathinaikos suffered a shock loss at Platanias on Thursday.Asteras led at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus through a controversial penalty that Pablo Mazza converted. The Reds’ fans jeered their players at half-time, but the hosts were more determined in the second half to earn all three points through goals by Costas Fortounis and substitute Marko Marin, the winner coming deep into injury time.Xanthi outplayed Iraklis in Thessaloniki and scored through Tunisian Hamza Younes who earlier had a penalty kick saved.Platanias proved true to the tradition of being the jinx team of Panathinaikos, beating the Greens 1-0 at Hania courtesy of a Yaya Banana goal on the 74th minute.Just like Panathinaikos, fifth-placed AEK was also disappointing, sharing a goalless draw with Panetolikos in Athens, a result that has made life very difficult for coach Jose Morais.Panionios is joint third with Panathinaikos, three points behind Xanthi, after drawing 1-1 at home with PAS Giannina. PAOK rose to sixth through a late Dimitris Pelkas goal that downed Levadiakos 1-0 away.In other games Kerkyra drew 1-1 with Atromitos, and Larissa came from behind to score a precious “six-pointer” win over fellow struggling Veria (2-1).Source: EKathimeriniTweetPinShare0 Shares