Giants

Star Olympian expelled following drunken brawl

506874.jpg

Star Olympian expelled following drunken brawl

From Comcast SportsNet Friday, August 5, 2011

BEIJING (AP) -- China's most decorated Winter Olympics athlete, Wang Meng, has been expelled from the national team for a drunken brawl with an official, throwing the successful short track speed skating program into disarray. Wang went out drinking and failed to return to the team hotel before a curfew, China's sports governing body said in a statement released late Thursday. When she was confronted by team manager Wang Chunlu, she punched her, it said. The 26-year-old Wang was expelled from the national team and banned from international competitions because her conduct "has violated the team's disciplines and jeopardized the sport's image," China's General Administration of Sport said in the statement. Wang, who won three gold medals at the Vancouver Games last year, and one gold, a silver and a bronze at Turin, Italy, in the 2006 Olympic Games, had been suspended since the incident during a summer training camp in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao on July 24. China's General Administration of Sport said male speed skater Liu Xianwei, who also assaulted the team manager and damaged hotel property, has been expelled. The other four squad members -- Zhou Yang, Liu Qiuhong, Han Jialiang and Liang Wenhao -- were allowed to keep training with the national team. China's Xinhua news agency reported that Wang accidentally cut her hands on glass and needed dozens of stitches after the incident. In a video posted on the website of China News Service, an angry Wang, her arms in bandages, was shown amid a throng of reporters at the Winter Sports Management Center on Thursday night. It was unclear what she had been asked, but Wang was shown insisting that she be quoted verbatim on TV and threatening to hold a news conference if she wasn't quoted in full. "Can you not report the voice from the heart of an ordinary person?" she said. "I am no longer an athlete. I have been expelled." State-run broadcaster CCTV later showed Wang apologizing to reporters. "This event, in any case, has caused negative effects to society," she said. "I ought to apologize to the Chinese people. So many skating lovers like me and support me. What I did was wrong." Wang is a product of China's highly competitive sports system where promising athletes are intensively trained from a young age in government-run sports schools. Zhou Yang got in trouble last year for failing to thank her country and the Chinese government after her gold medal win at the Vancouver Olympics. Instead, she thanked her coach and teammates and said she would "help my parents have a better life." Li Yan, chief coach of China's short track skating team, told CCTV that expelling Wang doesn't solve deeper problems within the squad. "In one year, the Chinese short-track skating team, having performed so well and gained four Olympic medals and great success, has turned into a negative example. It definitely needs deep reflection," she said. Xinhua said Wang is famous for her fiery temper and it is not the first time she has landed in trouble. She was expelled from the national team for six months in 2007 after criticizing her coach's tactics at the Asian Winter Games, Xinhua said. In June, Wang and her teammates reportedly clashed with security guards who accused them of making too much noise during a night out in the southwestern Chinese city of Lijiang. That led to the 10 p.m. curfew being imposed during last month's summer training camp.

How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League

aramis-us.jpg
USATSI

How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League came to an end for seven Giants prospects on Thursday as the Scottsdale Scorpions (12-17-1) came up short from playing in Saturday's championship game. 

Let's take a look at how these seven names fared against some of the top young talent in all of baseball. 

The Hitters

As the Giants are linked to trade targets in center field like Billy Hamilton and Jackie Bradley Jr., a young in-house option only helped his case in the desert.

Steven Duggar likely would have seen the AT&T outfield this season, but his season was hindered by injuries, keeping him to only 44 games between three levels. With the Scorpions, Duggar took advantage of his opportunity with more at-bats. 

Duggar left Arizona with a .263/.367/.421 slash line over 20 games. The speedy lefty also stole nine bases and hit three home runs. Even if the Giants go for an experienced glove in center field this offseason and keep Duggar, the 24-year-old has also played 135 games in right field during his minor league career. 

For the second straight year, the Giants sent catcher Aramis Garcia to the AFL. And he's sure to be coming home much happier this go around with an up-and-down campaign.

Splitting time behind the plate with three other catchers, Garcia appeared in 13 games and slashed .259/.293/.333 and hit one home run. Garcia struggled to get one base with only one walk to 10 strikeouts, but showed his natural ability to drive runs in with 10 RBI. 

Rounding out the Giants' trio of bats they sent to Arizona is arguably their top prospect, but his time in the AFL was cut short. Chris Shaw only played in five games and hit .158. He dealt with a sore shoulder.

The Pitchers

The Giants sent two starting pitchers (Tyler Beede and Joan Gregorio) and two relievers (Tyler Cyr and D.J. Snelten) to the AFL. 

Pitching for the first time in nearly three months, Beede showed exactly why he's the Giants' top pitching prospect. Beede went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts, but his final three show the potential he's full of -- 14 innings pitched, three earned runs, a 1.93 ERA, 10 strikeouts and only one walk. 

Gregorio, who was suspended this season for Performance Enhancing Drugs, pitched in eight games (three starts) for Scottsdale. He left with a 1-0 record and 5.87 ERA. In Triple-A, Gregorio went 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA this year over 13 starts. The 25-year-old presents an interesting arm that can help sooner than later in the bullpen. 

Cyr's stats don't look pretty (0-1, 5.63 ERA, 8 IP), but he's catching some attention. The right-hander was named to the Fall Stars Game and is most likely to start 2018 in Triple-A after converting 18 saves at Double-A in 2017. 

Snelten, a 6-foot-7 lefty, impressed in eight appearances out of the bullpen. He didn't allow an earned run until his final outing of the fall, bringing his ERA from a perfect 0.00 to 2.25 in 12 innings pitched.

After combining for a 2.20 ERA to go with an 8-1 record between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017, Snelten is a name to know as the Giants look to find more lefties for their bullpen.

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

blaine-ap.jpg
AP

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.