Alburquerque explains kiss that irked A's


Alburquerque explains kiss that irked A's

OAKLAND The problem with the unwritten rules of baseball is that no one has a hard copy to reference.The unwritten rules are again receiving a preposterous amount of attention thanks to Al Alburquerque, who drew the ire of As players and fans by planting a kiss on a baseball before he threw to first for a rally-killing out in the Detroit Tigers Game 2 win Sunday.Yoenis Cespedes, who hit the ball that received the questionable affection, took offense to the move, as did many of his teammates. But Monday in Oakland, veteran Jonny Gomes took a more Zen approach.There are baseball gods that take care of that stuff, Gomes said. He obviously doesnt believe in them but I do.In Oaklands visitors clubhouse, Alburquerque drew a larger media scrum than Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder. Through a translator, Alburquerque explained what was going through his mind as he planted the controversial kiss.Just got caught in the emotions of the game, Alburquerque said. I respect Yoenis Cespedes; I was just excited to get that out.While Cespedes and Josh Reddick did not hold back their disgust with the perceived slight after Sundays loss, other As were more understanding Monday.I guess he got the out so he can do what he wants, infielder Cliff Pennington said.Closer Grant Balfour said he didnt see the kiss because of Detroits isolated bullpen and didnt make an effort to catch a replay, either.I didnt watch any baseball; I wanted a break from the game, Balfour said.Gerald Laird, who started the game at catcher but gave way to Alex Avila by the time Alburquerque was called in from the bullpen, tried to defend his teammate.Hes not out there trying to disrespect anyone, Laird said, adding that he understood why some As took offense. Asked for his reaction to the move, Laird said: I laughed and asked myself Did I just see what I saw?Tigers manager Jim Leyland, a self-proclaimed old-school baseball man, made no excuses for his 26-year-old reliever.I dont think it was the right thing to do, Leyland said. I will sit here today and I will not try to defend it. I will say that I can assure everybody, including the Oakland As, that Alburquerque did nothing intentionally to offend the Oakland As.We make no excuses; it happened. It shouldnt have happened. It did happen. But like I said, in no way was that meant to offend an opponent, no way. We have too much respect for the game. Too much respect for Bob Melvin and the Oakland As. If thats not acceptable, then people have to deal with it the way they want to deal with it.Melvin, when informed of Leylands respect, returned the compliment and offered his take on The Kiss Heard Round the Baseball World.I respect Jim Leyland as much as I respect anyone, Melvin said. I think there are varying degrees to all that stuff, showmanship, whatever. We were accused of something in New York that was going on in our dugout. I think everybody has different takes on that. I dont think theres one right or wrong way. Emotionally after a game when something like that happens, youre always going to hear something from somebody. But you move on. Its not a big deal for me.Melvin has at least one bigger concern than an offensive kiss. His As can kiss their Cinderella season goodbye with just one more loss.

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip


NEWARK, N.J. — Martin Jones made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall in the San Jose Sharks' 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored and Justin Braun had two assists to help the Sharks open a five-game East Coast trip.

Keith Kinkaid, the top goalie for New Jersey with Cory Schneider on injured reserve, stopped 30 shots as the Devils' three-game winning streak came to an end.

The Devils couldn't muster a strong push in the later stages against the rested Sharks. It was New Jersey's second game two nights following a 5-4 overtime victory in Ottawa. And it showed against the Sharks, who played a solid road game, pressed their advantage and solidly supported Jones.

Karlsson scored the lone goal of the opening period at 14:11 on a close-in shot following a slick behind-the-net setup pass from Tomas Hertl.

The shots were 13 for each team in the evenly played period. The Devils came close on several occasions as former Shark Mirco Mueller and Blake Coleman both hit the crossbar and Jones robbed Drew Stafford on a dead-on drive from the slot.

Pavelski and Donskoi got second-period goals as the Sharks steadily tightened their grip on the game.

Pavelski tipped in Braun's point shot at 5:49. Joe Thornton got the second assist, his 1,395th point, to pass Luc Robitaille for 21st on the career list.

Donskoi backhanded a rebound shot with 1:10 left in the period in which the Sharks outshot the Devils 11-6.

The remaining drama centered on Jones' shutout bid.

NOTES: The Devils placed Schneider on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury and recalled Scott Wedgewood from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to serve as Kinkaid's backup. ... Mueller, a healthy scratch in three of the previous four games, returned for the Devils to face the Sharks, the team that drafted him in the first round, for the first time. He was dealt to New Jersey over the summer.


Sharks: At the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Devils: Host Ottawa on Friday night.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game


Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch watched most of Thursday night’s game versus Kansas City from the stands after getting ejected for making contact with an official.

He’ll also be a spectator next week.

The NFL suspended him one game for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from an incident where left the sidelines to join an on-field scuffle and ended up pushing an official.

The league announced the suspension Friday afternoon. Lynch has already appealed the suspension, per multiple reports.

He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and automatically ejected by rule.

Punishment after the fact has gotten expensive.

By rule, Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official. He could get hit with other penalties, including entering a fight unnecessarily.

Lynch is also suspended without pay, meaning he’ll forfeit a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.

The Cal alum won’t play a Week 8 contest in Buffalo, against a Bills team that drafted him No. 12 overall in 2007.

Lynch was on the sidelines during a third down draw play where quarterback Derek Carr incurred what officials called a late hit from Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters.

The Raiders offensive line took offense, and came after Peters in a scrum. Lynch and Peters, both Oakland natives, are extremely close. Lynch ran on the field to get between his teammates and his friend, but ended up inadvertently pushing an official. The league has zero tolerance for that, and sent him off the field.

Lynch watched a dramatic 31-30 victory over Kansas City from the stands and screens near the field, and congratulated his teammates after a big win.

Lynch did not explain why he entered the fray, though he seemed to be trying to get Peters out of harm’s way.

“They can say what they want but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first,” Peters told Bay Area News Group’s Logan Murdock.

His Raiders teammates and coaches must carry on without the 31-year old power back. They’ll roll with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and fullback Jamize Olawale against the Bills, as they did against the Chiefs.

Lynch had two carries for nine yards before getting tossed. He has just 266 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries through seven games.

If the suspension is upheld, Lynch will be eligible to return in Week 9 against Miami.