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Sherman calls out NFL in presser with Baldwin

RENTON, Wash. (AP) With the help of a cardboard cutout, the Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin took digs at the NFL during a news conference on Tuesday after the league issued a $100,000 fine to teammate Marshawn Lynch for not speaking to the media. Sherman and Baldwin made mention of everything from the league's sponsorship deals with major beer companies to their own personal endorsements that are not affiliated with the NFL, to the talk of player safety with the Seahawks about to play their second game in five days. The point of their performance seemed to be that whatever they said - real or satirical - it would not be a violation of the league's media policy on speaking with reporters. "The other day Marshawn Lynch got fined $100,000. Did you know that, $100,000?" Sherman said. "And it's like they wouldn't have paid him $100,000 if he had talked. If he had spoken, Doug do you think they would have paid him $100,000?" Baldwin responded, "No, they sure wouldn't have." The duo spoke for about 2 1/2 minutes ahead of Thursday's NFC championships game rematch against San Francisco. Baldwin hid behind a cutout of himself, with Sherman standing to the side of the podium and taking the lead as the pair bantered. Sherman took only one question, and after the pair referenced a number of personal sponsors - many of which are not NFL sponsors - walked off without speaking about the matchup with the 49ers. The pair prepped briefly and notified the companies they were going to mention ahead of time. Seattle coach Pete Carroll told San Francisco reporters he had not seen the performance. "It's fun to use your time in the NFL to speak about something you care about, right? Right?" Sherman said in his back-and-forth with Baldwin. "Because then you don't get fined $100,000. You don't get fined at all for this. This is how they want us to talk, right? This is what they want us to do. They want us to advertise, right Doug?" Their targets were wide ranging, including headphones, soup, clothing, sandwiches and juice. The cardboard cutout of Baldwin was actually an advertisement that's also on display at Subway restaurants in the Seattle area. Sherman immediately mentioned his endorsement deal with Beats by Dre. The league has an agreement with Bose. The league has told players they cannot wear unauthorized equipment until 90 minutes after the completion of games. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick was fined earlier this year for wearing Beats headphones during a postgame news conference. "The league doesn't let me say anything about them. Why is that?" Sherman asked. Baldwin's response: "I don't know. Sounds kind of hypocritical to me." Sherman made note of Campbell's Soup - another personal endorsement - and how it could be helpful with cold and flu season approaching. "Speaking of health, how do you feel about the NFL making you play two games in five days?" Baldwin asked. "I almost didn't realize that because they've been talking about player safety so much," Sherman responded. "It's like two games in five days doesn't seem like you care about player safety. It's a little bit much for me."

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 01:13:34 +0000
Red Sox introduce new signings Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez

BOSTON (AP) Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez spent the last two seasons as NL West rivals. Now they're teammates in Boston, the result of a $183 million spending spree the Red Sox are hoping will lift them out of the AL East cellar. "It's exciting for me to be with Hanley and David Ortiz," Sandoval said Tuesday at Fenway Park after finishing up a five-year, $95 million contract that adds him to a lineup he called "The Three Amigos." About five hours later, the Red Sox completed their day-night news conference doubleheader by announcing Ramirez's four-year deal, which is worth $88 million. A former Red Sox prospect, Ramirez was traded to the Marlins nine Thanksgivings ago in a deal that brought Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett to Boston. "Why not go back where you belong?" Ramirez said. "It worked out for the both of us: You guys won a couple of world championships. I haven't won any, but that's what I'm here for." Sandoval helped the Giants win three titles, earning the World Series MVP in 2012 and the nickname "Kung Fu Panda" that helped cement him as a fan favorite. He thanked the Giants for bringing him up as a big leaguer and Giants' fans for their support. "I want a new challenge. I need a new challenge," he said at his afternoon news conference. "I know that I had a great career in San Francisco. But I'm going to have a new one here." Sandoval helps fill a hole in the Red Sox lineup for a third baseman and a left-handed bat. Ramirez, who played shortstop and a little third base with the Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers, is expected to move to left field. "You're always trying to get a sense of where they might fit in," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We're not even at Thanksgiving yet. The potential for some other additions might exist." Sandoval's deal includes a team option for 2020 and Ramirez's contract has a vesting option for 2019. A 28-year-old Venezuelan listed at 5-foot-11 and 248 pounds, Sandoval was seen as a potential replacement at designated hitter when Ortiz retires. But Sandoval said he plans to manage his weight so he can remain in the field. Both players praised Ortiz, and Ramirez also said Dustin Pedroia helped recruit him to Boston. "He said, `I've got two rings. You don't have any. I want some more,"' Ramirez said. "That kind of thing pumps you up." Sandoval said Ortiz gave him advice when he was in the minor leagues that he has carried with him. Having a chance to play with Ortiz, who was the Series MVP in 2013, was a factor that attracted him to Boston. "To be Papi's teammate - 162 games, all that with him - for me, it's going to be a very exciting time," said Sandoval, who had dinner with Ramirez on Monday night. Ramirez agreed, saying Ortiz was "like a big brother to me." Sandoval is a career .294 hitter who had 16 homers and 73 RBIs in the regular season this year and then hit .366 in the postseason while helping the Giants win their third World Series in five years. "He really embodies a lot of what we care about," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "He's been a big winner. He's been a performer when it counts the most. He's respected as a teammate, loves to play. We think he fits what we're all about here. We're excited to have him." A 30-year-old infielder who has never played the outfield in 1,634 professional games, Ramirez batted .300 with 13 homers and 71 RBIs for Los Angeles this year. Cherington, who watched Ramirez learn to play shortstop in the minors, said he is confident Ramirez can take on a new position. For now, the Red Sox are overloaded with outfielders and short on pitchers, having acquired Allen Craig and Yoenis Cespedes at the July trade deadline while shipping off four-fifths of the rotation. "We've got a ways to go in the offseason," Farrell said. To clear the roster spots, the Red Sox designated first baseman-catcher Ryan Lavarnway and infielder Juan Francisco for assignment.

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:34:00 +0000
Rose exits early as Bulls fall to Lawson, Nuggets

DENVER (AP) Ty Lawson scored 20 points, including a key jumper in the waning seconds, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Chicago Bulls 114-109 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win. Arron Afflalo added 19 points and Danilo Gallinari had 15 for the Nuggets, who defeated the Bulls for the eighth straight time in Denver. Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was limited to 10 minutes in his second game back from a left hamstring strain. Rose, who scored 18 points in his return Monday night against Utah after a four-game absence, felt tightness in the hamstring during the first quarter and didn't play the rest of the way. Jimmy Butler had 32 points for Chicago.

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 04:48:00 +0000
Curry's 40 points power Warriors past Heat 114-97

MIAMI (AP) Stephen Curry scored 40 points, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Miami Heat 114-97 on Tuesday night for their sixth consecutive victory. Golden State scored 14 straight points to open a 107-95 lead with 2:50 to go. Curry and Thompson capped the run with consecutive 3-pointers. Thompson had 24 points for the Warriors, who shot 57 percent. Curry was 12 for 19 from the field, including an 8-for-11 performance from 3-point range. Chris Bosh scored 26 points for Miami, and Luol Deng had 16. James Ennis' dunk with 9:11 left was the Heat's last field goal. Miami led by 16 in the first half, but Golden State closed the second quarter with a 23-8 surge. Draymond Green made two free throws with 9.8 seconds left to cut the Heat's lead to 62-61 at the break. Golden State carried the momentum over to the second half. Curry hit three 3-pointers in the third period, and his two free throws with 58.2 seconds remaining put Golden State ahead, 89-82. The Heat got off to a nice start, opening a 31-22 lead on Mario Chalmers' corner 3-pointer with 1:51 left in the first quarter. --- TIP-INS Warriors: G Leandro Barbosa played four minutes and scored two points after spraining his right knee in the Warriors' win over Orlando on Sunday. ... Early in the first period, Andrew Bogut grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled the length of the court and made a behind-the-back pass from the baseline to Green, who scored on a layup. ... F David Lee (strained left hamstring) missed his 12th straight game. Heat: F-C Chris Andersen's injury woes continue. Andersen sat out Tuesday's game after injuring his left ankle early in Miami's win over Charlotte on Sunday. Earlier in the season, Andersen missed four games because of bruised ribs. ... G Dwyane Wade (left hamstring) missed his seventh straight game. ... Norris Cole returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous two games because of a dislocated left middle finger. UP NEXT Warriors: Visit Orlando on Wednesday. Heat: Visit New York on Sunday.

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 03:36:00 +0000
No. 3 Arizona beats Kansas State 72-68 in Maui

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) Kaleb Tarczewski scored 18 points, Gabe York added 15 and No. 3 Arizona hung on to win its first close game of the season, beating Kansas State 72-68 Tuesday in the Maui Invitational semifinals. Arizona (5-0) had rolled through its first four games despite some slow starts and shot 53 percent against Kansas State, yet couldn't shake the scrappy Wildcats. Trailing by nine in the second half, Kansas State (3-2) whittled the lead down to a single possession in the final minute. Arizona went up 69-64 after three free throws by Stanley Johnson and York, but Marcus Foster cut the lead to two on a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finally helped Arizona secure a spot in Wednesday night's championship game by hitting two free throws with 4 seconds left. Johnson finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Foster scored 23 points and went 6 for 9 from 3-point range for Kansas State. Arizona has been plagued by slow starts this season, and the Maui opener against Missouri was no different. The Wildcats, as they did in previous games, pulled away in the second half for a 19-point win - but they probably couldn't afford another uninspired start against Kansas State. In their tournament opener, the Wildcats jumped on Purdue early, creating easy scoring opportunities through turnovers while building a 15-point lead. Kansas State let up down the stretch to let the Boilermakers back in it, but pulled out a physical victory. A fast start was no problem for either team in the semifinals. Playing quickly in both directions, Arizona and Kansas State traded athletic plays - Johnson's tomahawk dunk down the lane was a highlight - and baskets in an entertaining opening 10 minutes. Neither team was able to get much separation, and the half ended with Stephen Hurt jamming in a putback at the buzzer to pull Kansas State to 31-30. The second half continued the same way until T.J. McConnell and York hit consecutive 3-pointers to put Arizona up 52-43 midway through. Kansas State clawed its way back, pulling to 66-64 on a 3-pointer by Foster with 2:30 left. K-State kept fighting back each time, but couldn't complete the comeback as Arizona hit six of eight free throws in the final 22 seconds. --- TIP-INS Kansas State: Foster is a combined 16 for 28 the past two games after going 1 for 13 in a loss to Long Beach State. Arizona: Johnson was called for two fouls 90 seconds into the second half and had to sit down with four. He returned 6 minutes later for a short stint and came back with 7:15 left. UP NEXT Kansas State faces the loser between Pittsburgh and No. 15 San Diego State in Wednesday's third-place game. Arizona will play the Pitt-SDSU winner in Wednesday night's title game.

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 03:15:00 +0000