2016 adidas MLS Player Combine: Five invitees with Indiana ties

December 13, 2015 – 11:54 am by Kevin Johnston
2016 adidas mls player combine

Photo credit: mlssoccer.com

Despite its reputation as a basketball state and not having a noteworthy professional-level soccer club until 2014, Indiana has long been a low-key hotbed for soccer talent (see Yeagley, Jerry). So, true to form, the Hoosier state is once again lining up several potential contributions to the 2016 MLS SuperDraft class.

On Friday, Major League Soccer unveiled its initial list of college players that received invites to the 2016 adidas MLS Player Combine. All invitees are eligible for the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. Of the 59 players so far deemed worthy of attending, five have ties to Indiana schools. And that number may increase as more players will be added to the list ahead of the Jan. 7-12, 2016 combine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Here’s a look at the five players with Hoosier connections:

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Cardinals Twitter does not handle Jason Heyward signing too well

December 11, 2015 – 4:28 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Jason Heyward

Jason Heyward agreed to a massive, eight-year, $184 million contract with the Chicago Cubs on Friday, as he became the latest domino to fall in baseball’s free agent frenzy. Heyward opted for the Cubs over returning to the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom he spent the 2015 season. Cardinals fans were, let’s say, less-than-thrilled at the 26-year-old’s decision to sign on with their bitter division rival.

The Twitter account @BestFansStLouis monitors and re-tweets comments from Cardinals fans on Twitter year-round. It is a mock account, with the purpose being to show the “Best Fans in Baseball” in their worst possible light. Friday was that account’s Mona Lisa.

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Marlins want huge haul from Dodgers for Jose Fernandez

December 9, 2015 – 8:03 am by Ryan Phillips
    Jose Fernandez

One of the hottest topics at baseball’s Winter Meetings is whether or not the Miami Marlins will deal ace Jose Fernandez. While the Marlins maintain they’re not inclined to move the 23-year-old right-hander, they have been listening to offers. More importantly, they have countered with proposals of their own.

A report on Tuesday claimed that the Marlins asked the Los Angeles Dodgers for a package that includes shortstop Corey Seager, lefty Julio Urias, center fielder Joc Pederson and two more players. That, my friends, is an insane price. The thing is, we’ve been told the Dodgers are actually considering a modified version of that deal that might include at least two of the prospects named.  Read the rest of this entry »

Matt Cassel becomes first Cowboys backup to win in 5 years

December 8, 2015 – 12:39 am by Hickey


Some sports records will never be broken. Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game. Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. And until Monday night, it started to look like Stephen McGee’s mark as “Last Dallas Cowboy quarterback not named Tony Romo to win a game” might move closer to joining that list.

Alas, McGee’s spot in Dallas history is no more after Matt Cassel led(?) the Cowboys to a dramatic 19-16 win at Washington.

McGee’s win was also dramatic, as his touchdown pass to Jason Witten with 55 seconds left gave Dallas a 14-13 win over Philadelphia in the season finale of the 2010 campaign on Jan. 2, 2011. It was the only start of his two-year career. He’s retired from football and working as a financial advisor after a stint in the CFL.

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Chicago Cubs reach two-year deal with John Lackey

December 4, 2015 – 5:51 pm by Ryan Phillips
    John Lackey 1

As we reported earlier, the Chicago Cubs have been going full-throttle after free agent right-hander John Lackey. Well it appears that hard work paid off, as multiple reports claim that the two sides have reached an agreement.

Ken Rosenthal says the contract is worth $32-34 million over two years and should be finalized shortly. This deal makes a lot of sense for both sides. The Cubs needed to bolster the middle of their rotation behind Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester while not committing long-term to an aging pitcher, and Lackey is getting a lot of money without needing to front a rotation.

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Chicago Cubs going hard after John Lackey

December 4, 2015 – 5:03 pm by Ryan Phillips
    John Lackey

John Lackey may be a 37-year-old with a shaky track record, but he’s also one of the most sought-after pitchers on baseball’s free agent market. Now the Chicago Cubs are apparently the front-runners to land the 13-year veteran.

The Cubs are reportedly “pretty hot” on Lackey right now and are discussing two- and three-year deals. After the Cubs completely whiffed on their top target, David Price, they appear to have set their sights far lower. Chicago has also apparently been turned off by Jeff Samardzija’s asking price and feel Lackey is more on their level.

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Miracle in Motown Could Save the Packers’ Season

December 4, 2015 – 7:05 am by Zach Rastall
    (Photo credit: Duane Burleson, Associated Press)

    (Photo credit: Duane Burleson, Associated Press)

The old sports adage says to play until the clock hits zero.

Sometimes you have to keep going a little longer than that.

The hope of victory seemed rather bleak for the Packers when they had the ball at their own 21-yard line with six seconds to go Thursday night. Green Bay was staring down the barrel of its fifth loss in six weeks, which would’ve dropped its record to 7-5 and left its season teetering on the brink of collapse.

Instead, the Packers left Detroit with a huge confidence-booster in a game where they were forced to rally back from a 20-0 deficit and never held the lead until the very end.

Though it looked like the Lions had sealed victory when Aaron Rodgers was tackled with no time left on the clock, Green Bay was given one last shot after Detroit defensive end Devin Taylor was called for a facemask penalty.

The controversial call put the ball at the 39-yard line and gave the Packers one final play to try and pull off a miracle. On that play, Rodgers rolled left, eluded a couple defenders, rolled back toward the right sideline and uncorked a Hail Mary toward the end zone. His prayer was answered by Richard Rodgers, who hauled in the pass as he backpedaled into the end zone to give Green Bay one of the most improbable victories in its storied history.

The Packers were still in the thick of the playoff hunt coming into the game, so the sky wasn’t exactly falling, but the offense has been utterly dreadful as of late, and another loss in Detroit would’ve caused Titletown to go into full-on panic mode.

Giants have backup plan if Greinke picks Dodgers

December 3, 2015 – 8:05 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Brian Sabean

The San Francisco Giants are reportedly finalists to land ace right-hander Zack Greinke along with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but if they miss out, the 2014 World Series champions already have a backup plan in place.

If Greinke re-signs with the rival Dodgers, San Francisco will reportedly go hard after Jeff Samardzija and try to re-sign Mike Leake. John Lackey is also emerging as a backup option. With the money they would save by losing out in the Greinke sweepstakes, the Giants could almost surely afford to sign two of those three guys.

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