Angels' Richards out for season with knee injury
BOSTON (AP) The Los Angeles Angels are going to be without Garrett Richards for a playoff run.
One of the AL West leader's top starters sustained a serious knee injury, tearing his left patellar tendon Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox
Richards was 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA this year. It's a serious blow to the Angels, who also lost starter Tyler Skaggs to Tommy John surgery earlier this season.
"You're going to be thinking of Garrett once every fifth day when he was out there," manager Mike Scioscia said Thursday. "You might not be able to replace that, but it doesn't mean that we're not going to be able to reach our goal as a cumulative pitching staff."
General manager Jerry Dipoto said "we'll be open" about finding a deal to replace Richards in the rotation.
Richards crumbled to the ground covering first base on a potential 3-6-1 doubles play against Boston. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and was flown to Los Angeles on Thursday morning, where he had an MRI.
The Angels tweeted Richards will have surgery on Friday. The rehabilitation time should be six to nine months.
The Angels selected the contract of left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who pitched briefly for the New York Yankees earlier this season, from Triple-A Salt Lake. Richards was placed on the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster.
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:37:00 +0000
Nats stretch streak to 10 with 1-0 win vs. D-Backs
WASHINGTON (AP) Denard Span scored from second on third baseman Jordan Pacheco's throwing error in the ninth inning, and the Washington Nationals stretched their winning streak to 10 games with a 1-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.
Five of Washington's last six wins have come in its final at-bat of the game, and the streak is tied for the franchise record. Kansas City is the only other team to win 10 consecutive games this year.
Rafael Soriano (4-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the Nationals, who swept three-game series against the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates before winning all four games of this series.
Oliver Perez (2-3) got the loss for the Diamondbacks.
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 23:15:00 +0000
Foles, offense sharp as Eagles beat Steelers
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Nick Foles threw for 179 yards and a touchdown to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a 31-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.
Steelers running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount both played one day after they were arrested for marijuana possession shortly before Pittsburgh (1-2) traveled to Philadelphia.
Eagles All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy left the game with a right thumb injury after a 22-yard TD catch gave Philadelphia (1-2) a 7-0 lead. X-rays on McCoy's thumb were negative, but he didn't return. McCoy showed no effects of a toe injury that forced him to miss one practice earlier in the week.
The Eagles' first-team offense had only one touchdown on six drives in road losses to Chicago and New England. But this was more like last year's offense that set several franchise records.
AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 02:45:00 +0000
Manziel, Browns agree he's not ready to start
BEREA, Ohio (AP) On one knee and far from the action, quarterback Johnny Manziel leaned on his orange helmet and watched.
This is his new position.
As Browns starter Brian Hoyer worked with Cleveland's first-team offense during 11-on-11 drills Thursday, Manziel, for now relegated to the second string, observed from the side. He took mental notes as he waited for his turn.
This rookie has been no sensation. He's not ready to start.
Meet Johnny Backup.
Failing to make any magic happen in his first two NFL preseason games and unable to close the gap enough to beat out Hoyer, Manziel will begin the season as Cleveland's No. 2 quarterback, matching his uniform number. It's not a major surprise given he's had to learn a complex offense and he entered training camp behind Hoyer.
But Manziel's inability to leap-frog Hoyer, a journeyman who has made four career starts and is coming off knee surgery, shows the jump from college to pros is gargantuan - even for Johnny Football.
"Obviously I didn't want this to be the outcome," Manziel said. "But at the same time, I didn't necessarily feel I was ready, I felt like there were steps that I needed to take, and I need to take, to get better."
Manziel has shown flashes, just not enough.
Still, the Browns have seen promise in him, and Manziel's immense fan base now has members inside Cleveland's locker room.
"We got arguably the best No. 2 in the NFL," said wide receiver Nate Burleson. "I'm a Johnny Football fan. Not only was I a fan before he got here, but now he's family because we play for the same team. I'll always be in his corner."
Manziel has improved in recent weeks. He's got a much better grasp on offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's playbook and its tongue-twisting verbiage; some plays contain 17 words. He's made better decisions with the ball, and he's won over some skeptical teammates with a solid work ethic and humble attitude.
Trouble is, Manziel may have damaged his chances to win the starting job before camp with his well-documented partying. The photos of Manziel chugging champagne while floating on an inflatable swan, talking into a phone made of money, and rolling a dollar bill in a bathroom brought him unwanted attention.
The Browns were privately concerned about Manziel's behavior and warned him about it. He obliged, but had two recent missteps: being late for a team meeting and flipping his middle finger at the Redskins' sideline Monday night on national TV.
The gesture, relatively harmless compared to other things than go on during a game, may have reinforced the belief of coach Mike Pettine and his staff that Manziel wasn't prepared mentally or physically to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 7.
Sitting and waiting is nothing new for Manziel. He was so far behind when he got to Texas A&M that the Aggies redshirted him as a freshman. It wasn't long, though, before he was the big man on campus and quickly the biggest name in college football, a one-man scrambling highlights machine.
Manziel, who has completed 14 of 27 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, said nothing has surprised him so far.
"It's exactly what I thought it would be," he said. "I knew it would be a big step, a big learning process. If people would have seen me my first year at A&M they would've said no way this kid could get to where I'm at today. People don't understand that my first year-and-a-half at A&M I was terrible.
"I just continued to try and get better, learn the playbook, got more comfortable around everybody, around the coaches with the system, and then good things happened for me."
Pettine said there won't be a "leash" on Hoyer, who will get an opportunity to take the job and run with it. But the Browns' difficult early schedule - they'll host New Orleans and Baltimore after facing the Steelers - could make things interesting if they're 0-3 or 1-2 at the bye week.
Manziel isn't the first prominent rookie to take a back seat in Year 1. He'll find his path, and knowing Manziel, it won't be a straight one.
"You don't have to come in from your first day of your rookie season and play right away," he said. "There's no exact guideline to how this process works with young quarterbacks. For me, I need to continue to do what I need to do to get better as a football player, get smarter and learn more, control what I can control and everything will work out fine for me."
NOTES: Pettine plans to play his starters most of the first half against St. Louis on Saturday. Pettine is also leaning toward his starters playing in the exhibition finale against Chicago. ... Pettine said WR Josh Gordon's pending NFL suspension has weighed on the Pro Bowler. "He wants to get on with it and move forward," Pettine said. "Just being in limbo for so long, it can be draining."
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:17:00 +0000
Goalie Giguere retires after 16 seasons in NHL
DENVER (AP) The goaltender known as "Jiggy" is stepping away from the net.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere announced his retirement Thursday after 16 NHL seasons in which he won 262 games, a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup championship.
The Colorado Avalanche say Giguere made his decision in Quebec while with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada hockey team. He's part owner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League squad.
"His achievements speak for themselves, from winning the Stanley Cup to winning the Conn Smythe, Jiggy was always a top-notch goaltender," team executive Joe Sakic said in a statement. "He was also a very important part of our team during the past three seasons, providing veteran leadership and stability in net. We wish him and his family the best of luck."
Giguere served as Semyon Varlamov's backup last season in Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy's first season behind the bench. The team made it back to the postseason for the first time since 2010.
What's more, Giguere took rookie Nathan MacKinnon under his wing and allowed the talented teenager to live in the family's basement all season. The two even car-pooled to games and practices.
The 37-year-old Giguere is best known for his time with the Anaheim Ducks. He led the team to two appearances in the Stanley Cup finals, capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy in defeat in 2003 and hoisting the Cup in 2007.
The Ducks fans even gave Giguere an ovation after a game in Anaheim, California, last April. He skated to center ice that night with former teammate Teemu Selanne, their clasped hands held aloft. Selanne recently retired after a 21-season NHL career spent mostly with Anaheim.
"For (Selanne) to do that, it's something that's very special for me, and something I'll never forget," Giguere said.
Giguere was originally drafted by Hartford with the 13th overall pick 1995 and played eight games with the Whalers in 1996-97. He was the last active player to have suited up for Hartford.
A fan favorite wherever he went, Giguere also played for Calgary and Toronto.
Giguere played in 597 regular season games and faced 16,325 shots in 33,719 minutes. He finished his career with a 2.53 goals-against average and 38 shutouts.
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:51:00 +0000