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Domestic violence experts added as NFL advisers

NEW YORK (AP) Three experts in domestic violence will serve as consultants to the NFL.

Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to teams Monday announcing that Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith will work as "senior advisers." They will "help lead and shape the NFL's policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault," he wrote.

Goodell has been under heavy criticism for his handling of the domestic abuse case involving star running back Ray Rice. Rice was initially suspended for two games. Goodell at first defended the punishment, but more than a month later, he told owners he "didn't get it right" and that first-time domestic violence offenders would face a six-game suspension going forward.

Then Rice was released by the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the league after video surfaced of the assault on his then-fiancee.

Friel was the head of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the New York County District Attorney's Office for more than a decade. Randel is the co-founder of No More, a campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault. Smith is the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Monday's memo also said that Anna Isaacson, currently the NFL's vice president of community affairs and philanthropy, will become its vice president of social responsibility.

"Anna has been leading our internal work relating to how we address issues of domestic violence and related social issues," Goodell wrote. "In this new role, she will oversee the development of the full range of education, training and support programs relating to domestic violence, sexual assault and matters of respect."

The National Organization for Women, which is calling for Goodell's resignation, called the appointments of the senior advisers "a step in the right direction - but it's not enough."

On the new role for Isaacson, NOW said in a statement that "the fact that Roger Goodell is assigning a current member of his leadership team to oversee new policies shows once again that he just doesn't get it."

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:42:00 +0000
Angels clinch playoff spot, beat Mariners 8-1

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Los Angeles Angels became the first team in the major leagues to clinch a playoff spot on Monday night, with Matt Shoemaker pitching five-hit ball into the eighth inning of an 8-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

David Freese and Brennan Boesch homered for the big league-leading Angels (94-56), who reduced their magic number to three in the AL West race with their 11th victory in 12 games. Los Angeles is assured of at least a wild card berth in its first postseason since 2009.

Albert Pujols left the game in the third inning with a left hamstring cramp after hitting a three-run double off Hisashi Iwakuma (14-8) for Los Angeles' first runs.

The Mariners (80-69) dropped two games behind Kansas City for the second AL wild card spot with their fifth loss in six games.

Shoemaker (16-4), who turns 28 next weekend, improved his own franchise record for rookie victories with his ninth win in 11 appearances since July 26. He pitched seven shutout innings and didn't allow a runner to reach third base before Logan Morrison doubled and scored on two groundouts in the eighth.

Manager Mike Scioscia and the Angels' training staff came out to check on Shoemaker before he left after 7 2-3 innings.

Tony Campana had a two-run single and Howie Kendrick had an RBI double in the Angels' 17th win in 20 games.

Iwakuma couldn't get out of the fourth inning of his first career loss to the Angels, yielding six hits and seven runs. Humberto Quintero drove in Seattle's only run.

Iwakuma's career-long dominance of the Angels (5-0, 1.64 ERA) abruptly ended after he retired Los Angeles' first eight batters. The Japanese right-hander, who walked just 16 batters in his first 176 innings this season, walked Efren Navarro and Mike Trout with two outs in the third before Pujols cleared the bases with a shot down the left-field line.

Pujols held his hamstring while jogging slowly into second as Trout slid under the cutoff throw at home, but the three-time NL MVP left the game walking easily.

The speedy Campana replaced Pujols and scored on Kendrick's double. After Freese crushed his ninth homer to center in the fourth, the Angels loaded the bases for Campana, who delivered his first RBIs for his new team.

Boesch's first homer for the Angels put them up 8-0 in the fifth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: Dustin Ackley returned to left field after missing six of the last seven games with a left ankle injury. He left in the sixth inning.

Angels: Josh Hamilton's injured right shoulder felt strong after three rounds of batting practice. The cleanup hitter might return as soon as Wednesday.

UP NEXT

After three consecutive wins with their bullpen filling injured Garrett Richards' rotation spot, the Angels will try it again, starting with reliever Cory Rasmus (3-1, 2.80). Roenis Elias (10-12, 3.81) pitches for Seattle.

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 05:18:00 +0000
Papelbon suspended 7 games by MLB

SAN DIEGO (AP) Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon was suspended seven games and fined Monday night by Major League Baseball for making a lewd gesture and then bumping an umpire.

Papelbon said in a statement distributed by his agent that he would immediately begin serving the suspension, and that he regrets making contact with umpire Joe West on Sunday.

But the right-hander insisted he wasn't making a vulgar motion toward fans as he walked off the field to boos after giving up four runs in the ninth inning of Philadelphia's 5-4 loss to the Miami Marlins. He apologized to Phillies fans in the statement.

"While I completely understand how the fans would perceive my gesture while being booed, it was not my intent whatsoever to insult the fans of Philadelphia," Papelbon said. "If it was perceived in that manner, I sincerely apologize."

Papelbon was ejected by West after the umpire thought Papelbon grabbed his crotch in response to the jeers from the crowd.

"The whole thing started because the fans booed him and he made an obscene gesture. He had no business doing that," West said Sunday. "He's got to be more professional than that. And that's why he was ejected."

The fiery reliever jogged out of the dugout and got into a face-to-face argument with West, who grasped the pitcher's jersey to hold him off, and Papelbon then argued with first base umpire Marty Foster. Papelbon threw a cup of liquid on the field before leaving the dugout.

"The Phillies fully support the decision of the Commissioner's Office, which has exclusive jurisdiction for on-field player behavior," the team said in a statement. "By Major League Baseball rules, the Phillies have no authority to make official judgments about activity which occurs on the field or to determine the appropriate penalty for misconduct. We apologize to our fans for the actions of our player yesterday."

Papelbon had converted 14 straight save chances since July 22 when he entered with a 4-1 lead. He is 37 for 41 in save chances this season.

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 02:29:00 +0000
Mets' deGrom ties MLB record with 8 Ks at start

NEW YORK (AP) Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom has tied a major league record by striking out his first eight batters.

The rookie whiffed eight consecutive Miami Marlins to begin Monday night's game at Citi Field, matching the mark set by Jim Deshaies of the Houston Astros against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 23, 1986.

Deshaies and deGrom are the only pitchers to accomplish the feat since 1900.

A top contender for NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom tied the record by freezing Jeff Mathis with a 95 mph fastball for a called third strike. The shaggy-haired righty then gave up a sharp single to opposing pitcher Jarred Cosart on a 1-0 pitch.

As deGrom quickly piled up Ks, the small crowd began clapping whenever he got two strikes on a hitter. He received a warm ovation following Cosart's base hit.

The previous Mets record for strikeouts to start a game was six by Pete Falcone against Philadelphia on May 1, 1980.

STATS says Mickey Welch of the New York Gothams struck out the first nine Cleveland Blues batters on Aug. 28, 1884 - when the mound was only 50 feet from home plate.

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:28:00 +0000
Hull draws 2-2 with West Ham in Premier League

HULL, England (AP) Hull duo Abel Hernandez and Mohamed Diame scored on their debuts but West Ham equalized through an own goal by Curties Davies to secure a 2-2 draw in the Premier League on Monday.

Hull led twice after the club's record signing Hernandez scored with an impeccable first-half header and Diame restored the advantage against the side he left on transfer deadline day.

In between, Enner Valencia marked his first league start with a spectacular strike from 25 yards and the draw was settled when Diafra Sakho's modest shot evaded goalkeeper Allan McGregor, only for Davies to bundle over his own line.

Valencia almost won it in added time when his header rebounded off Dawson's shoulder and rattled the crossbar.

Hull has five points from four games, with West Ham a point behind.

Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:27:00 +0000

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