Love's broken hand 'pretty much a freak accident'

Love's broken hand 'pretty much a freak accident'

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Kevin Love's face stayed straight the entire time. Asked repeatedly about the source of his broken right hand, the Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star insisted the story about knuckle push-ups gone wrong was true.

Even Love, though, understood the skepticism.

``I've heard everything,'' Love said. ``But this isn't TMZ. This isn't People Magazine. I think most people are just looking for a story. For me, I know what happened. I'm not trying to get around it. I'm not trying to lie. That's just what happened.''

Love spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since his injury, which he described as ``pretty much a freak accident'' during a pre-practice workout with his personal trainer at his home on Oct. 17. He said he felt the swelling immediately, tried to perform another weight-bearing exercise and then rushed to see the team's athletic trainer before being sent to the hospital for X-rays that revealed two broken bones.

``I do different series of push-ups all the time. My hand just gave on me,'' Love said, ``and it just broke.''

The suggestion was made to Love that if he was seriously trying to cover up some bad or embarrassing behavior he would've created a more believable tale.

``I would have done some crazy story, the way my mind works. But I can't even think of anything better right now,'' Love said, wearing a white cast on his arm with a freshly shaved head that's part of a breast cancer fundraiser with NFL star Larry Fitzgerald.

The reason he waited a day after he was hurt to release a statement through the Timberwolves, Love said, was that he was too upset to think clearly. Hearing all the woe from fans about the franchise being cursed (Ricky Rubio is likely out for about two more months while recovering from his injured right knee) only made Love's mind spin more.

``I think the human instinct is to kind of take all the pressure and all the blame onto yourself,'' he said. ``I think that's a large part of what happened. I do feel like I'm a big part of this team, and for me not to be out there the first few or several games, it kills me.''

Love is supposed to be out for another four to six weeks. He said he's bracing for the longer end of the timetable, figuring a quicker return would simply be a bonus. If that's the case, he'll miss about a quarter of the season. Love broke his left hand in a preseason game three years ago and missed about six weeks that time.

The Timberwolves open without the NBA's premier power forward on Friday at home against Sacramento.

``I'm going to stay in shape as much as I can, and I'm just going to continue to stay with the team and keep being a leader,'' he said.

Love went back to his California home after the injury and addressed his teammates upon returning.

``You don't ever have to apologize for an injury. He didn't want this,'' shooting guard Brandon Roy said. ``It's just our job to do the best we can early in the year and try to stay above float, because you know when we get him back we've got a really good team.''

Coach Rick Adelman, naturally, said he was more concerned about players such as Derrick Williams, Dante Cunningham and Lou Amundson, who'll take Love's lost playing time.

``It is a big hole in our lineup, but we have guys that are going to commit to do their job, and we have to find a way to win,'' Adelman said. ``That's just the way it is. A lot of teams are facing the same thing. We are no different.''


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Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."

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Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East


Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East

The Giants shipped out Jason Pierre-Paul for life as a Buccaneer, and in turn, Tampa will send a third and fourth round draft pick to New York.

Moving Pierre-Paul comes at a curious time for the Giants. The team will eat $15 million of dead money in the move, and New York also sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa as part of the transaction. 

What it definitely signals is that Big Blue looks to be moving from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 look. Additionally, with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, maybe the Giants will seriously look at NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb. 


For the Redskins, seeing Pierre-Paul leave the NFC East is welcome news. He has 12.5 career sacks against Washington QBs, the same amount he has against the Eagles and Cowboys combined. 

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