Report: San Diego Padres, James Shields agree to four-year deal

February 9, 2015 – 3:22 am by Ryan Phillips
    James Shields

The San Diego Padres’ incredible offseason continued Sunday night as reports surfaced that they had agreed to a four-year deal with veteran right-hander James Shields. San Diego had been the favorite to land the 33-year-old starter for about a week and general manager A.J. Preller was apparently able to close the deal.

Chris Cotillo broke the news and says the four-year deal is in the $72-$78 million range. There is an reportedly an option for a fifth year. The contract is only pending a physical. Shields made it known he wanted to pitch on the West Coast, and he lives in Rancho Santa Fe, which is about a 30 minute drive from Petco Park. He will now join one of the most stunning roster transformations in baseball history.

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Cleveland Browns offseason going down the crapper

February 6, 2015 – 2:28 am by Hickey

jimmy-haslam-120802-CP

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: the Cleveland Browns are having a terrible offseason. Actually, don’t stop us, because a one-sentence blog post is pretty much worthless to everyone.

But even by Cleveland’s woebegone standards, the start to this offseason has been a doozy. Here’s a rundown of the growing mushroom cloud:

– Kyle Shanahan, though not exactly an offensive wizard, did a decent enough job this season helping a Brian Hoyer-run offense keep the Browns in contention until a late-season collapse. Then, the offensive coordinator abruptly resigned.

The reason? There wasn’t just one. Or two. There were 32.

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USC shrugs off sanctions, lands No. 1 recruiting class

February 4, 2015 – 9:33 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Iman Marshall

Whatever Steve Sarkisian and his staff at USC are doing, it’s working because in their first year free of harsh NCAA sanctions, the Trojans landed the nation’s top recruiting class. For the first time since 2012, USC was able to take a full class of recruits and made the most of those scholarships, putting together a group for the ages.

Both Scout and Rivals – the generally accepted best recruiting websites – put the Trojans at the top of this year’s recruiting rankings after a signing day haul that included multiple five-star commitments.

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Was Super Bowl XLIX An Inside Job?

February 2, 2015 – 4:50 am by Hickey

pete carroll

In the hours since the stunning conclusion to Super Bowl XLIX, countless commentators, fans and players both retired and current have wondered what on earth the Seattle Seahawks were thinking on their final play call. Rather than give the ball to workhorse running back Marshawn Lynch — a man nicknamed “Beast Mode” — the Seahawks made the baffling decision to throw a slant that was intercepted by rookie defensive back Malcolm Butler to assure the Patriots of their fourth Super Bowl victory.

But the fact of the matter is Seattle’s last play call was so bad that it is more than a little fishy. In fact, the evidence overwhelmingly points in the direction that SUPER BOWL XLIX WAS AN INSIDE JOB.

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Stephen A. Smith responds to Josh Gordon’s letter

January 29, 2015 – 9:49 pm by Ryan Phillips
    stephen-a-smith-josh-gordon

On Thursday, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon wrote an open letter to Charles Barkley, Cris Carter and Stephen A. Smith ripping them for discussing his NFL and legal troubles on the air without actually knowing him personally. Never one to remain silent, Smith went on Cleveland radio Thursday afternoon to respond, and he did so with an epic rant.

Smith absolutely eviscerated Gordon and tore his letter to shreds, saying, “I’m sad for him. It’s pretty pathetic.” The key takeaway from his rant was this: “The fact of the matter is that it’s his actions that got him to this point.” I have rarely (if ever) agreed with Stephen A. Smith, but he is spot on in his take. He also said, “If I come across as disgusted and angry, it’s because I am.” That makes two of us.

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Dana White: Jon Jones vs. Anthony Johnson likely for May

January 28, 2015 – 5:37 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Jon Jones Anthony Johnson

Despite a (very) short stint in rehab for a cocaine problem, it looks like UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones will be defending his title shortly. UFC president Dana White was on the Jim Rome show Wednesday and told the host that Jones will likely fight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at some point in May.

Johnson is coming off of an impressive first-round knockout of top light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden last week. He has won nine fights in a row including a decision win over Phil Davis last April and a knockout of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in July.

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Two D-League Teammates Ejected For Fighting Each Other

January 28, 2015 – 2:15 am by Hickey

Jarnell Stokes and Kailin Lucas were ejected from an NBA Developmental League game on Tuesday night after getting into a fight, which by itself does not warrant headlines — until you realize that Stokes and Lucas are teammates, and they got into a fight during a timeout huddle.

What happened to precipitate the skirmish is unclear, because the only thing we have to go on is a blurry, looping video with terribly cheesy background music that I find it impossible to believe a human being took the time to compose. Basically it’s like an old-timey silent movie — in the foreground a ref stands patiently waiting for play to resume, then notices a commotion in the background as the two teammates go at it. Then at the end of the video, the Iowa Energy mascot strolls by covering his mouth with his index finger. All we’re missing is a banana peel accompanied by a slide trombone sound effect.

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Kobe Bryant to undergo shoulder surgery, likely out for season

January 26, 2015 – 5:22 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Kobe Bryant

As expected, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant will undergo surgery on his right rotator cuff and is listed as being out indefinitely. The Lakers have not announced a timetable for his return, but in all likelihood, the 36-year-old guard will be out for the rest of the season.

Bryant tore his rotator cuff during a dunk attempt against the New Orleans Pelicans last week and an MRI revealed the tear. The team has expected him to miss the rest of the season since reviewing the MRI. With the Lakers struggling through a terrible season, this is probably the best move for the franchise.

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