10 Degrees: As heat rises, Yankees' Joe Girardi tries to avoid September meltdown

Jeff Passan
Yahoo Sports

Oh, September meltdown, you most bountiful of traditions. You show up every year like the flu, only you've no antidote. You attach yourself to teams and players, embed yourself in their DNA and turn the successful into mushy piles of catastrophe. You are a sneaky little troll. And for that we love you.

View gallery


Joe Girardi isn't arguing with only umpires. A columnist was the target of his most recent blowup. (AP)

Because you, September meltdown, help make the final month of the season crackle. The April meltdown really has little bearing, because five months remain to recover from it. May, June and July meltdowns tend to separate winners from losers, though that divide is fairly apparent at the beginning of the season anyway. The August meltdown amuses, but it is Eli to September's Peyton.

Your particular aim these past two seasons has been delicious for those outside the Northeast Corridor whose Yankees-Red Sox Schadenfreude knows no bounds. To see Boston turn in the worst collapse ever last season, and then to lace it with chicken grease and beer suds and painkiller dependency, was a stroke of wickedness of which not even the sickest mind figured you capable.

As if that weren't enough, now you've afflicted New York. Or at least that's what people in New York want to believe. On July 18, their Yankees held a 10-game lead in the American League East with a 57-34 record. That's .626 baseball – a 101-win team over a full season. Since then, they've gone 22-27. Extrapolated out over a year, that's a 72-90 squad.

Still, to compare this to the 2011 Red Sox is just a little misleading. They actually entered September with a 1½-game lead in the division, which they promptly crapped away by losing nine of their first 11 games in September. The 2012 Yankees, so far in nine September games: 4-5. For the entire month, the Red Sox strung together five losing streaks. The Yankees have suffered through one, stanching their wounds before they gush. Splitting a series against Baltimore, as they did with a 13-3 win Sunday, wasn't the desired outcome. It wasn't the worst, either.

[Tim Brown: Yankees let Orioles know they're not backing down]

Twenty-two games remain for the Yankees. With the Tampa Bay-Baltimore road swing out of the way, they've now got one of the easiest schedules in the AL. Only six of the 22 come against teams over .500. Twelve of those are at home. If they play .500 ball the rest of the way, that's 90 wins.

The exact number the Red Sox won last year.

There is enough hope in the Bronx that to assign September meltdown's illustrious name to the Yankees, despite the glory of the word MELTDOWN in all caps on the back of a New York tabloid, simply isn't fair. Yet. This is not to impugn you, September meltdown. You may indeed be infiltrating the Yankees clubhouse through …

1. Joe Girardi, whose September meltdown over the weekend followed an August meltdown, giving the Yankees manager the rare two-month meltdown streak. Bravo, Joe. Bravo.

Girardi's first meltdown was a bravura performance. When transcribed and broken into small batches, it looks like poetry, or maybe something Mick Jagger would've written when he wasn't awful.

Hey, hey, hey.
Shut up.
I'm doing
An interview.
Do something,
Would ya?

Directed at a pestering fan in Chicago, Girardi's outburst was a public showing of the high-strung reputation he carries around the clubhouse. Getting into an alleged nose-to-nose shouting match with a New York Post columnist Saturday did little to quell his players' fears that this funk may be getting to him.

Then again, it's a Catch-22 for Girardi. Striking that happy medium between caring too much and not caring enough – the reputation Terry Francona carried and that led to his dismissal after Boston's meltdown – is damn near impossible when a team is losing. Girardi can't do anything to help Nick Swisher giving up any hopes of a Jayson Werth-level contract with a 2-for-43 slump. He can't fix Mark Teixeira's sore calf. He can't overturn Jerry Meals' incompetence.

At this point, all he can do is chill a little, cobble together some kind of a lineup and pray …

2. CC Sabathia isn't hurt, which the big man swears is the case. Not that he'd say anything if he were; Sabathia signed the biggest pitching contract in history to throw important games, and he'll do that so long as ligaments aren't snapped and muscles aren't torn.

Let's examine some facts, followed by other facts that may change your mind about the first.

Fact: Sabathia's 3.56 ERA is his worst since 2005.

Contradictory fact: Sabathia's 4.37 strikeout-to-walk ratio leads the American League and is his best since he won the AL Cy Young in 2007.

Fact: Sabathia's fastball velocity has been down all season and bottomed out the last three starts.

Contradictory fact: The last time Sabathia's fastball sat in this range was toward the end of the 2010 season, when he helped pitch the Yankees into the playoffs and they won all three games he started in the postseason.

Fact: He has given up 21 home runs already, a career high.

[Also: Nationals rookie hazing results in Bryce Harper dressing as a female gymnast]

Contradictory fact: Home run spikes often are a function of luck more than anything. Sabathia's flyball rate of 31 percent is the third lowest of his career. His home runs-per-flyball rate of 13.7 percent is nearly 5 percent higher than his career average.

Now, some of the signs aren't good. Sabathia's reliance on his changeup instead of his slider is troublesome … though Sabathia this year has thrown his slider more than ever, so maybe it's more a function of him finding equilibrium in his pitches and not an injury. At least at this point nobody is pulling a …

3. Stephen Strasburg on him and questioning his mental fortitude. Yikes.

Now, it almost certainly wasn't the intention of Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson to essentially call his star pitcher incapable of handling his impending shutdown and thus accelerating it by a game. Only that's exactly what he did.

Strasburg was angry, as he had every right to be, especially because as certain as the Nationals are this is the right way, he's well within his rights to question it because there is no right way, not with such a limited sample and such variance among deliveries and conditioning and every other factor that contributes to health among pitchers.

View gallery


Stephen Strasburg isn't thrilled with the Nationals' decision to end his season early. (Getty Images)

"I don't know if I'm ever going to accept it, to be honest," Strasburg told reporters in Washington. "It's something that I'm not happy about at all. That's not why I play the game. I play the game to be a good teammate and win. You don't grow up dreaming about playing in the big leagues to get shut down when the games start to matter."

Strasburg did admit "it's hard not to let [the shutdown talk] bother you." And yet until what ended up his last start of the season, a three-inning, five-run mess, Strasburg had been every bit the stalwart ace the Nationals expected. If it indeed had bothered him "a lot longer than" his recent starts, as he opined, this wasn't anything close to a mental issue. It was one bad start.

Oh, and for the supposed "hop" lacking on his fastball: According to data from the incomparable Brooks Baseball, Strasburg's average fastball velocity in his last start was 95.41 mph compared to 96.62 mph for the entire season. His fastball actually had more horizontal movement than usual (-5.84 inches, or inside to right-handers, vs. -4.99 inches average this year) and almost the same vertical (8.96 inches Friday to 9.27 inches the rest of the season).

In other words, even when the Marlins were tagging him, Strasburg had plenty of hop on his fastball, according to the advanced camera system that's far less fallible than the naked eye.

Oh, well. Strasburg's season is done. The Nationals still have the best record in baseball. Without him, that means for our fastball jones we'll have to tune in when …

4. Justin Verlander pitches, even if his most recent start embodied the Tigers' September meltdown thus far. Perhaps more than any team Detroit has underachieved. An Angels sweep over the weekend dropped Detroit to 73-66, and the only thing keeping the Tigers from irrelevance are the White Sox's similar foibles.

Detroit heads to Chicago for a vital four-game set, with a Verlander-Chris Sale matchup headlining the series Thursday. Verlander is coming off one of the worst stretches of his career. The Angels scored six runs in six innings off him. Two starts earlier, Kansas City tagged him for eight in 5 2/3. The last time Verlander gave up six or more earned runs twice in three starts was in July 2008. He hadn't allowed six or more runs since April 11 last season.

The last time these two teams tangled, Detroit swept the White Sox, a series that salvaged its 1-8 record in the nine other games around it. This will be their final series, and at stake could be the AL Central, the worst division in baseball this year with a -222 run differential. For those interested, the AL West is by far the best, at +241, followed by the AL East (+89), NL East (+74), NL West (-58) and NL Central (-124).

One big reason the AL Central's differential is so awful: The Cleveland Indians are an AL-worst -165, though through no fault of …

[Tim Brown: Nationals off base with Strasburg explanation]

5. Chris Perez and his gargantuan mouth. In case anyone doubted it, Perez affirmed his title of biggest enfant terrible in baseball with his rant to Foxsports.com about how Indians owner Larry Dolan is cheap and GM Chris Antonetti doesn't know what he's doing and blah-blah-blah-just-trade-me-now-please.

According to The Plain Dealer, the Indians actually toyed with designating Perez for assignment when the story popped. They thought better of it because there's a simple fact his oral diarrhea overshadows: Perez is really good. He strikes out more batters than Fernando Rodney. He walks fewer than Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel. He's flyball happy, but so are Chapman and Rafael Soriano.

The biggest thing against Perez is his salary through arbitration, somewhere in the $7.5 million neighborhood. When Rodney can come out of nowhere and put up one of the great ERAs in history, and when Chapman and Kimbrel, in their early 20s, can grow into the game's two best closers, the market for a loose-lipped liability like Perez won't be nearly as robust as it ought, even if some of what he said – particularly about Dolan's skinflint budget – holds water.

At least he's playing well. About 2½ hours southeast, toward the edge of the Rust Belt …

6. Andrew McCutchen has turned mortal. He hit a home run Sunday, the Pirates' first in a week.


The Pirates, a team with the fourth-most home runs in the NL, went five homerless games before McCutchen popped one in the first inning. Their opponents those five games: the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs, who have allowed, respectively, the second- and third-most homers in the NL, behind only Colorado, which plays half its games in outer space.

And you wonder why the Pirates, who went into the All-Star break a game ahead of Cincinnati atop the NL Central, are now in danger of not cracking .500 for the first time in two decades. After the weekend sweep by the Cubs, they have lost 25 of 39 games, including their last six one-run games.

Leading the (dis)charge is McCutchen, who on July 17 was hitting .374/.426/.657 with 22 home runs. Before his homer Sunday, his slash line since: .278/.366/.364. Ichiro and Rajai Davis had more home runs than his two. Norichika Aoki and Mark Ellis' slugging percentages were higher.

Because of his excellence beforehand, McCutchen's .341/.405/.554 line remains spectacular. He still leads the NL in hits and runs. And yet, much like his team, he looks like the marathoner in first at the 13th mile and huffing and puffing by the 20th. Between McCutchen and …

7. Matt Kemp the NL MVP tag is like a vial of ricin. Kemp was the early season favorite before an ornery hamstring sidelined him for a good portion of the first half. Even before a 3-for-26 September – which followed a nasty crash into the outfield wall, banged up Kemp's left shoulder and kept him out Saturday and Sunday – he hadn't returned to his Superman level.

View gallery


Injuries have helped slow Matt Kemp's torrid start to the season. (Getty Images)

(An aside before showing Kemp's slide: Ryan Braun is the NL MVP, right? He leads the league by five home runs, his slugging percentage of .602 is tied for first and more than 40 points ahead of the next candidate, he plays suitable-enough defense in left field and the Brewers, at 69-71, have surged to at least sniffing distance of a wild-card spot. The likelihood of the Baseball Writers Association of America crowning him with a second consecutive MVP after his positive test for testosterone during the playoffs last season is next to none – Buster Posey, at this point, is the favorite – but it's tough to argue there has been a better player in the NL than Braun.)

Between July 13 and Aug. 27, the day before his injury, Kemp was hitting .324/.370/.488. Excellent, yes. Just not the .355/.444/.719 of before his injury. Kemp homered just twice in August, and his power slump coincided with the team's descent down the NL West standings. A 7½-game lead May 27 had evaporated to a half-game by Aug. 19, since which the Dodgers have lost 12 of 19. They're 5½ games behind the Giants and trail St. Louis by 1½ for the second wild card, even though …

[Also: Rangers' rookie Jurickson Profar claims acting scared led to game-winning hit]

8. Carlos Beltran can't hit, either. Beltran, like McCutchen, whacked a homer Sunday to break a long slump. He had been hitting under .200 for the last 2½ months and under .100 over the last two weeks.

Most of all, he embodies a Cardinals team that just doesn't make any sense. St. Louis leads the NL in runs. It's second to the Nationals in run differential. While its pitching staff isn't great, it's among the top half in the league, more than good enough to win games with that offense. The trade for Edward Mujica shored up a great back end of the bullpen with Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte.

So what's wrong? The Cardinals haven't been very good in one-run games, going 17-23 after sneaking out an extra-innings win Sunday that averted a Milwaukee sweep. The offense has slumped in the second half, too. Its OPS is .745, 30 points lower than the first half, and home runs have been fewer and further between: one every 43.1 at-bats in the second half as opposed to one every 31.1 at-bats in the first half.

It's a race among the Cardinals, Tigers and Red Sox for biggest underachiever of the season, and …

9. Bobby Valentine is doing his part to ensure Boston runs away with the title. His season-long meltdown has been something to behold, like a volcano that keeps spewing toxicity with no end in sight. It's tough to tell what was a better entry into the Bobby V diary this week: His threatening-to-punch-a-radio-host/trying-to-rationalize-how-it's-OK-to-be-late/throwing-Joe Maddon-under-the-bus troika or watching Toronto sweep the Red Sox at Fenway Park to drop them to last place in the AL East and 1-7 in September.

Boston has lost 11 of 12. At 63-78, the Red Sox are on pace to go 72-90, which would be their worst record since 1966.

At this point, anything more is piling on, so it's best to pivot to the other embattled manager in the AL East and try to figure out how …

10. Joe Girardi is going to extract the Yankees from this mess in which they're battling for first place with a team that batted Wilson Betemit third Sunday.

First: Hope the pitching gets right. From Sabathia to the already-back Ivan Nova (who has been shuttled to the bullpen while Freddy Garcia remains in the rotation) to the returning-mid-month Andy Pettitte, the Yankees need more out of their starters.

Next: Health for the hitters. For Teixeira, who will undergo an MRI Monday, and for Robinson Cano, who's banged up, and for the aged Alex Rodriguez and the ageless Derek Jeter and Swisher and Curtis Granderson and every integral piece of their lineup.

Most of all: Victory by attrition. Out of the Oakland-Baltimore-Tampa Bay-Los Angeles quartet, there will be some death by cannibalism. If the Yankees can face their combined-.477-winning percentage schedule and do what they're supposed to, all this talk of a September meltdown will vanish.

Exactly like the Red Sox's was supposed to last year.

Related MLB video from Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network::
Mark Sanchez responds to pressure of Tim Tebow, Tebowmania with huge Week 1
Serena Williams comes back to win U.S. Open | Photos
Week 2 Winners and Losers: Pac-12 comes up roses with three upset wins
Y! News: Florida pizza shop owner powerlifts Obama

  • Pineda banned 10 games for pine tar, won't appeal

    Pineda banned 10 games for pine tar, won't appeal

    New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games Thursday after being caught using pine tar. ''I accept it,'' Pineda said before Thursday night's game at Fenway Park. Pineda was ejected in the second inning of Wednesday night's … More »

    AP - Sports - 13 minutes ago
  • Cal Poly baseball team is toast of the West Coast

    Cal Poly has long been known for turning out great engineers and architects. The San Luis Obispo school that produced Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith in the 1970s is enjoying its finest season since joining Division I in 1995. At 35-5, the Mustangs … More »

    AP - Sports - 15 minutes ago
  • Raptors ready for road test in Game 3 in Brooklyn

    Raptors ready for road test in Game 3 in Brooklyn

    NEW YORK (AP) -- If Dwane Casey has any concerns coming to Brooklyn, they aren't about his players. … More »

    AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago
  • Some rules regarding Northwestern union vote

    In the wake of a ruling by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board that they qualify as employees under federal law, Northwestern football players are voting Friday on whether to form the nation's first union for college athletes. … More »

    AP - Sports - 17 minutes ago
  • The 10-man rotation, starring a very cool time-lapse drawing of LeBron James (Video)

    The 10-man rotation, starring a very cool time-lapse drawing of LeBron James (Video)

    A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 17 minutes ago
  • Benfica and Sevilla secure Europa League wins

    Benfica and Sevilla secure Europa League wins

    By Toby Davis LONDON (Reuters) - A stunning late goal from Benfica's Lima left Juventus's hopes of reaching a home Europa League final hanging in the balance after a 2-1 first-leg defeat, while Sevilla won 2-0 against Valencia in Thursday's … More »

    Reuters - 17 minutes ago
  • NFL draft's most precarious pick: Jadeveon Clowney

    NFL draft's most precarious pick: Jadeveon Clowney

    If the South Carolina standout doesn’t live up to his potential, it's more than possible the blame will fall on his coaching staff for not fully unlocking his immense talent. They will get the burden of proof, because look at how talented Clowney … More »

    Yahoo Sports - 18 minutes ago
  • Dice-K 1st save since 2000; Mets top Cards 4-1

    Dice-K 1st save since 2000; Mets top Cards 4-1

    Daisuke Matsuzaka pinched his eyelids, clenched his teeth and thought back. After 123 starts during seven seasons in Major League Baseball, the 33-year-old right-hander was turned into a reliever by the New York Mets when they brought him up from … More »

    AP - Sports - 19 minutes ago
  • NLRB to review Northwestern union ruling

    NLRB to review Northwestern union ruling

    Northwestern University's football players will cast secret ballots Friday on whether to form the nation's first union for college athletes - a potentially landmark vote that will be kept sealed for months and possibly years. The National Labor … More »

    AP - Sports - 23 minutes ago
  • NCAA proposal for governance change

    Highlights from the proposal to change the NCAA's governance structure, which was endorsed Thursday by the NCAA's board of directors. A formal vote is not expected until the board's quarterly meeting in August: - The five biggest football … More »

    AP - Sports - 23 minutes ago
  • New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for 2015 unveiling: alumni

    New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for 2015 unveiling: alumni

    By David DeKok HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach" is set to begin two years after his image was removed from Penn State University because of a … More »

    Reuters - 25 minutes ago
  • George Hincapie offers an unvarnished look at cycling in new memoir

    George Hincapie offers an unvarnished look at cycling in new memoir

    George Hincapie was the "Loyal Lieutenant" who helped Lance Armstrong to seven Tour de France titles, only to later provide the key testimony that brought his downfall. Now, Hincapie is talking again about one of the darkest eras in cycling. In a … More »

    The Canadian Press - 26 minutes ago
  • Texas' Kouzmanoff to have back evaluated

    Texas' Kouzmanoff to have back evaluated

    Texas third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was scheduled to be evaluated Friday at home by a back specialist before the Rangers make a roster move to activate Adrian Beltre from the disabled list. Kouzmanoff, who is hitting .362 in 13 games and is the … More »

    AP - Sports - 26 minutes ago
  • Gomez helps spark aggressive Brewers' hot start

    Gomez helps spark aggressive Brewers' hot start

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Brewers' new leadoff hitter can aggravate pitchers by slugging homers or stealing bases. Carlos Gomez is flustering foes, and his energetic approach has helped Milwaukee jump out to the best record in baseball. … More »

    AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago
  • Armstrong teammate Hincapie pens stark memoir

    Armstrong teammate Hincapie pens stark memoir

    George Hincapie was the ''Loyal Lieutenant'' who helped Lance Armstrong to seven Tour de France titles, only to later provide the key testimony that brought his downfall. Now, Hincapie is talking again about one of the darkest eras in cycling. In … More »

    AP - Sports - 29 minutes ago
  • Twins get rare road series win vs. Rays

    Twins get rare road series win vs. Rays

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Sam Fuld had enjoyed plenty of success at Tropicana Field. For the Minnesota Twins, big moments in the ballpark had been fleeting. … More »

    AP - Sports - 30 minutes ago
  • Colorado PG Dinwiddie entering NBA draft

    Colorado PG Dinwiddie entering NBA draft

    Spencer Dinwiddie expects to be healthy and wealthy by summer's end. The University of Colorado star point guard announced Thursday he's skipping his senior season and will declare for the NBA draft. Dinwiddie said at a news conference in Boulder, … More »

    AP - Sports - 35 minutes ago
  • Former Rangers great Jardine dies aged 65

    Former Rangers and Scotland defender Sandy Jardine has died at the age of 65 after battling cancer for 18 months, the Glasgow club said on Thursday. Jardine made almost 800 appearances for Rangers, winning three league titles, and was twice voted … More »

    Reuters - 35 minutes ago
  • Bills hire Dixon as pro scout

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- The Buffalo Bills have hired Gerald Dixon as a pro scout. … More »

    AP - Sports - 38 minutes ago
  • NCAA endorses more power for big schools

    NCAA endorses more power for big schools

    The NCAA's board of directors took the first step toward shifting power to the five largest football conferences on Thursday, endorsing a 57-page plan that calls for giving 65 of the nation's biggest schools more autonomy in how to fund … More »

    AP - Sports - 38 minutes ago
  • US ski coach gets 4 months for money laundering

    The head coach of the U.S. Alpine speed team, Andreas Evers, was fired by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association on Thursday, hours after the Austrian was sentenced to four months in prison plus 20 months on probation for money laundering. ''Core … More »

    AP - Sports - 42 minutes ago
  • Sevilla earn two-goal cushion against Valencia

    Stephane MBia and Carlos Bacca were on target for Sevilla as they took a big step towards reaching the Europa League final with a 2-0 victory over Valencia on Thursday. The Andalusian side continued their good form which has seen them win nine of … More »

    Reuters - 43 minutes ago
  • NASCAR hopes Track Takeover brings fans

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- They are calling it ''Track Takeover'' at Richmond International Raceway, and it's an idea that track President Dennis Bickmeier hopes will not only improve the experience NASCAR fans have only hours before cars start racing on … More »

    AP - Sports - 43 minutes ago
  • Ducks unsure on Getzlaf, mum on goalie

    Ducks unsure on Getzlaf, mum on goalie

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Two-thirds of the Anaheim Ducks' top line is injured, including their captain and leading scorer. Their most beloved player has been benched, and their rookie goalie looks shakier with every game. … More »

    AP - Sports - 47 minutes ago
  • Henrik Zetterberg a game-time decision for Red Wings in all-important Game 4

    Henrik Zetterberg a game-time decision for Red Wings in all-important Game 4

    The Detroit Red Wings' locker room is bursting with new life. … More »

    Puck Daddy - 48 minutes ago
  • No Bills cheerleaders in 2014 after suit

    Pack up the pom-poms in Buffalo, because the Bills will be playing without the support of their official cheerleaders this year. Stephanie Mateczun, whose company manages the Buffalo Jills cheerleading squad, said Thursday she has suspended … More »

    AP - Sports - 50 minutes ago
  • Yankees lose Nova to Tommy John surgery

    Yankees lose Nova to Tommy John surgery

    BOSTON (AP) -- New York Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova has decided to have season-ending Tommy John surgery for a partially torn elbow ligament. … More »

    AP - Sports - 53 minutes ago
  • Jason Collins named one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people, for good reason

    Jason Collins named one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people, for good reason

    The impact of the Brooklyn Nets center continues to be felt. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 54 minutes ago
  • Owners to discuss expanded playoffs

    Owners to discuss expanded playoffs

    The NFL will discuss expanded playoffs at the owners' meetings next month in Atlanta. Commissioner Roger Goodell told a gathering of Associated Press Sports Editors on Thursday that a vote is uncertain on the proposal to add two teams to the … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 5 minutes ago
  • Pagenaud still upset with Power over Long Beach

    A week off did nothing to mellow the tension between Simon Pagenaud and Will Power stemming from contact between the two at Long Beach. Pagenaud refused to accept an apology from Power following the April 13 race in which Pagenaud was spun from … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 11 minutes ago
  • Florida diving coach killed in boating accident

    University of Florida diving coach Donnie Craine died Thursday morning in a boating accident off the coast of Bokeelia, the school announced. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is investigating the accident, says two … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 12 minutes ago
  • Optimistic Arizona Cardinals begin conditioning

    Optimistic Arizona Cardinals begin conditioning

    TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The optimistic Arizona Cardinals began work this week under an intense new conditioning coach in their first formal gathering to prepare for the coming season. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 14 minutes ago
  • Reds beat Pirates for seventh win in 9

    Reds beat Pirates for seventh win in 9

    Considering the Cincinnati Reds started the year at 3-8, however, they were happy to get their record to 11-11 on Thursday. Ryan Ludwick lined a two-run double after two batters were hit by pitches, lifting Tony Cingrani and the Reds over the … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 14 minutes ago
  • Blues, Blackhawks prepare for key Game 5

    Blues, Blackhawks prepare for key Game 5

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- One more game, and the Chicago Blackhawks will have linchpin defenseman Brent Seabrook back in the lineup. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 16 minutes ago
  • CB Trufant retires as Seahawk

    CB Trufant retires as Seahawk

    When it was clear Marcus Trufant's time with the Seattle Seahawks was over following the 2012 season, he was given a message by general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll on his way out. If it became apparent that Trufant was ready to … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 18 minutes ago
  • McRoberts fined $20K for foul on James

    McRoberts fined $20K for foul on James

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Charlotte Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts was fined $20,000 by the NBA on Thursday for making unnecessary and excessive contact with Miami Heat forward LeBron James. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 18 minutes ago
  • Arizona's Bolsinger gets first MLB win

    Arizona's Bolsinger gets first MLB win

    Mike Bolsinger earned his first major league win, pitching into the seventh inning and hitting an RBI single as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 5-2 Thursday. Bolsinger (1-1) allowed one unearned run and four hits in 6 2-3 innings. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 19 minutes ago
  • Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda suspended 10 games for using pine tar

    Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda suspended 10 games for using pine tar

    BOSTON - New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games by Major League Baseball on Thursday for using pine tar to help him grip the ball. "I accept it," Pineda said before Thursday's game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway … More »

    The Canadian Press - 1 hour 29 minutes ago
  • Impact brass confident new coach Klopas can turn around bad MLS season start

    MONTREAL - Montreal Impact management are confident that new coach Frank Klopas will get the team back on track after a horrendous start to the Major League Soccer season. Sporting director Nick De Santis said Thursday that Klopas has done a good … More »

    The Canadian Press - 1 hour 30 minutes ago
  • NBA fines Josh McRoberts $20K for forearm to LeBron James' throat, upgrades foul to flagrant-2 (Video)

    NBA fines Josh McRoberts $20K for forearm to LeBron James' throat, upgrades foul to flagrant-2 (Video)

    Despite the increased penalty and fine, the Charlotte Bobcats forward avoids suspension, and will be available for Game 3 in North Carolina. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 1 hour 32 minutes ago