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Players Upset Over New Discipline for Bounty Scandal Players Upset Over New Discipline for Bounty Scandal

October 10, 2012 – Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma and the players union in the NFL left no doubt they were determined to challenge the authority of Roger Goodell the NFL Commissioner to suspend players for their involvement with the bounty scandal.

On Tuesday, Goodell announced that Vilma would continue to be suspended for the entire season, while Smith would have to face his original four game suspension. The two were among four players who have been arguing for months with the NFL who were upset at the latest decision by the commissioner.

On Twitter, Vilma said the latest ruling is Goodell’s pride not allowing him to admit he is wrong. Smith said in a statement that he would continue to look into his options of appealing the decision.

The two other players suspended are in different situations. Anthony Hargrove’s suspension now stands at two games after it was reduced by Goodell from eight to seven games and he was given credit for sitting out five games while being a free agent. Scott Fujita’s suspension was reduced by Goodell from three games to just one.

Fujita and Hargrove did not make any comments about the suspensions, but the Players Association of the NFL, which has represented them, continued to be critical of the decision of Goodell to punish each player and the process in which he made his decision to do so.

Sox Fire Valentine Following Difficult Season Sox Fire Valentine Following Difficult Season

October 5, 2012- Major league baseball’s Boston Red Sox wasted little time before firing manager Bobby Valentine following the end of a very tumultuous season in the Red Sox clubhouse. Red Sox management fired Valentine early Thursday only hours after the Red Sox lost their last game of the regular season.

Less than one year ago, Valentine was hired to gain control of the clubhouse but from the beginning, he had differences with players, his coaches and local media. The team ended the season in last place in the American League East and had their worst record in 50 years.

Valentine was considered a very good manager and won the pennant in the National League with the New York Mets and the championship in the Japan League. The Red Sox decided to hire Valentine after former manager Terry Francona had lost control of his players in the clubhouse during a collapse in September of unprecedented proportion.

Those players who had taken advantage of the hand-off approach used by Francona to eat fried chicken and swill down beer during ball games, bristled at the abrasive style of Valentine. However, most importantly, those same players did not win for Valentine, as they had for Francona most of the time.

Valentine said he understood the decision made by the Red Sox management. He said he had an incredible experience during the season, was disappointed with the results, but he feels the team will rebound next year.

Howard Makes if Through First Lakers Practice Howard Makes if Through First Lakers Practice

October 03, 2012- A new era started in Los Angeles when Dwight Howard took part in his first Los Angeles Lakers practice on Tuesday. Howard participated in a long workout and there were not apparent concerns over his back that was surgically repaired late last season. Howard worked with what will be the new starting unit for the Lakers during the majority of the team practice at the training complex of the Lakers.

Howard ran drills with new Lakers’ guard, veteran Steve Nash. He played a bit of one on one against Spaniard Pau Gasol. Howard ended his workout with some team drills dealing with the team’s new offense, and was given a few pointers by new teammate Kobe Bryant.

Lakers’ management was encouraged by Howard’s first performance, but is remaining very precautios with the team’s new center, as he is only five months from his surgery that repaired a herniated disc.

Howard was also positive after the workout saying he has worked hard to reach this point and there were no setbacks thus far. The center, who has been an all-star six times, has not committed to a timetable for when he will make his Lakers debut.

He was acquired by the team in August in a deal that involved four teams. Los Angeles announced Howard would not play on Sunday in the first game of the preseason, but the center sounds like he is determined to play some time prior to the start of the season, which starts on October 30.

Howard has worked out hard during the off season at the training complex preparing for the upcoming season. The medical staff for the club has been watching over Howard while a group of his own doctors has done so as well.

Three American League Teams Clinch Playoff Berths Three American League Teams Clinch Playoff Berths

October 1, 2012- Three teams in the American League have clinched postseason berths, with just three days left in the regular season. The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles in the American League East assured themselves of postseason play with wins on Sunday. Also clinching a playoff spot were the Texas Rangers who beat the Los Angeles Angels Sunday evening 8-7.

All three teams are assured of no worse than a wildcard spot. The Orioles and Yankees are tied for the lead in the AL East and one will end up as the division champion and the other will be a wildcard entry.

Two other teams the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics are on the verge of qualifying for the post season in the American League. The Tigers, behind a home run by Prince Fiedler late in the game, defeated the Minnesota Twins by the score of 2-1 and moved to three games in front of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central, with only three games remaining. Oakland defeated Seattle Sunday and holds a three game lead, with three to play, over the Angels for the second wildcard spot in the AL.

The Tigers can clinch their second consecutive trip to the postseason with a win tonight against Kansas City or a loss by the White Sox against Cleveland. Oakland can clinch a spot in the postseason with a victory against the Rangers at home or a loss by the Angels at Seattle. Texas can win the AL West with a win over Oakland tonight.

In Detroit, Miguel Cabrera is attempting to become the league’s first Triple Crown winner since it was done in 1967 by Boston Red Sox left fielder Carl Yastrzemski. On Sunday, Cabrera had no hits in three at bats, but leads the American League in batting with an average of .325, is tied for the league lead in home runs with 43 and has a nine RBI lead with 136.

Bailey Pitches Seventh No-Hitter of Season in MLB Bailey Pitches Seventh No-Hitter of Season in MLB

September 29, 2012 - Pitcher Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds watched a popup to second base settle into the glove of Brandon Phillips and then raised his arms, as he recorded a no-hitter versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bailey’s no-hitter was the seventh one this season in the major leagues. The final score of the game was 1-0.

This season’s seven no-hitters tie a record for the modern era of baseball (from 1900 forward). Seven no-hitters were also thrown in 1990 and 1991. In 1884, eight no-hitters were thrown. For the Cincinnati organization, it was the 15th no-hitter thrown in club history and the first since 1988, when Tom Browning tossed a perfect game for the team against Los Angeles.

Bailey, who improved his record to 13-10, fanned 10 batters and walked only one. He just needed 115 pitches on the night. He retired the Pirates batters in order in the ninth to seal the no-hitter.

As soon as Phillips caught the games last out, everyone on the field mobbed Bailey near the pitcher’s mound and his other teammates ran out of the dugout to congratulate him. Bailey has an excellent record at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. He is 5-0 with an ERA of 1.40 in six starts during his career. Pittsburgh has not had a no-hitter thrown against them since 1971 when Bob Gibson did it.

Cincinnati has already clinched the National League Central title and improved their overall record to 95-62. They currently are tied for the best record in the league with Washington.

NFL and Referees Reach Agreement NFL and Referees Reach Agreement

September 27, 2012- The NFL and the referees union reached a long awaited agreement late Wednesday night bringing to an end the nightmare of replacement referees in NFL games. NFL League officials and union leaders met for two full days following phone conversations on Monday.

The three month lockout was finally ended when the NFL Referees Association and the league agreed to a new labor deal. The regular officials will start officiating this week’s schedule of games, including Thursday night’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and the visiting Cleveland Browns. The new labor agreement will run for eight years, through the 2019 season, which makes it the longest contract between the league and regular officials in the history of the NFL.

Following three weeks of chaos, the replacement officials are finally gone. Included in the calamity of errors were blown calls, missed calls, controversial calls and an overall feeling the officials did not have control of the games. Monday night’s controversial touchdown pass in the end zone culminated the situation and made it certain that things had to change and change quickly.

Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner said he looked forward to having the best officials in all of sports once again on the field officiating where they belong. The officials have been staying fit and ready by working out and holding conference calls each week.

Commissioner Goodell lifted the three month lockout so Thursday’s game would have regular officials thus making sure a competitive disadvantage would not take place between the two teams in Thursday’s game and the rest of the teams that play Sunday and Monday.

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