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Pitcher banned 8 games for illegal substance

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Pitcher banned 8 games for illegal substance

From Comcast SportsNet
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tampa Bay reliever Joel Peralta was suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball on Thursday for having pine tar on his glove. Peralta has appealed, and can continue to play until the process is complete. The Rays were at Washington on Thursday night. Peralta was ejected from Tuesday night's game in Washington after umpires found pine tar on his mitt. The incident led to a verbal spat between managers Joe Maddon of the Rays and Davey Johnson of the Nationals. "I just know that we're appealing right now so I've got to sit tight and see," Peralta said. "I'm allowed to pitch today and that's all I care about right now." Peralta, who pitched for the Nationals during the 2010 season, said his former teammates approached him before Wednesday's game and were supportive. He didn't suspect that they turned him in. "I knew it wasn't them," Peralta said. "I knew when they did it was not coming from the players. That made me feel good. I know they like me." He said he didn't know Johnson. "I don't know why he did it," Peralta said. "I would like to know, but I'm not gonna ask that." Maddon feels the suspension is excessive. "Of course it's too much, and of course it's unfair, but that's the way they came down with it and it's gonna be up to them to try and manipulate it," Maddon said. Johnson declined to comment on the suspension on Thursday afternoon. Peralta hopes to get the suspension reduced. "First time it's ever happened to me. I don't know what to think. I don't know what to expect," Peralta said. "It feels a little relief to know at least what it's gonna be." After Tuesday's game, Maddon denounced Johnson's actions as cowardly, bush and bogus. Johnson retorted that Maddon should "read the rule book" and that he was "a weird wuss." During the 1988 National League championship series, Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Jay Howell was suspended for three games after being caught with pine tar on his glove. The suspension was reduced by a game by appeal. In that series, Johnson was the manager of the Dodgers' opponent, the New York Mets.

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NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes reveals his 2018 NBA All-Star ballot

NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes reveals his 2018 NBA All-Star ballot

The 2018 NBA All-Star starters have been announced with few surprises based on the previous updates we saw from fan voting, which account for 50 percent of the equation. The other 50 percent is split by players and media.

I had the honor of filling out one of the media ballots before the Jan. 15 deadline and in interest of transparency, here is how I voted with some brief reasoning for why:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

G Kyrie Irving, Celtics

Irving is the best player on the top team in the conference. He is scoring like he always has, but is now expanding his game under coach Brad Stevens.

G Bradley Beal, Wizards

Beal has turned into one of the best scorers in the NBA and now does so many more things. It wasn't an easy pick between him, DeMar DeRozan, John Wall and Victor Oladipo, but Beal has been so valuable to the Wizards this season with Wall missing extended time that he got the nod.

PODCAST: WHAT CHANGES SHOULD THE WIZARDS MAKE?

F LeBron James, Cavs

LeBron remains the best player in basketball and is having one of his best seasons at the age of 33. It's incredible to watch and he is deserving of the most votes.

F Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

Giannis is a bonafide star and is among the most versatile players in the NBA with how he can affect the game on both ends of the floor. Even without a three-point shot, he's completely unstoppable on offense.

F Joel Embiid, Sixers

Embiid is proving he can stay on the court (for the most part) and is putting up crazy numbers. Kristaps Porzingis and others got consideration for this spot, but Embiid edged them out with his rebounding.

RELATED: BROOKS FEELS GOOD ABOUT WALL AND BEAL'S ALL-STAR CHANCES

WESTERN CONFERENCE

G Russell Westbrook, Thunder

His scoring is down from last season, but Westbrook tops the NBA in assists per game and things are starting to click in Oklahoma City with him leading the way.

G James Harden, Rockets

The NBA's leading scorer, Harden is still putting up insane numbers despite co-existing with another star guard in Chris Paul. And the Rockets are really, really good.

F Kevin Durant, Warriors

The best player on the league's best team, Durant is currently fifth in points per game and tied for third in blocks. He is incredibly efficient and does so many things well.

F Anthony Davis, Pelicans

Davis continues to put up impressive numbers, but he's now more efficent than ever. The Pelicans are currently sixth in the West, too.

F Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

Towns has become almost underrated with all the attention placed on other young stars in the league, but he's as good as any of them. Big KAT has the T'Wolves on track to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

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2018 NBA All-Star Game: LeBron James, Steph Curry named captains; Wall and Beal miss cut for starters

2018 NBA All-Star Game: LeBron James, Steph Curry named captains; Wall and Beal miss cut for starters

The NBA announced the starters for next month's 2018 All-Star Game and once again LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers was the top vote-getter.

Stephen Curry of the Warriors was second in votes, meaning he and James will serve as captains and pick teams for the Feb. 18 showcase.

Neither John Wall or Bradley Beal of the Wizards made the cut as starters, so they will have to hope to make it as reserves by NBA coaches. The full rosters are announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

For the starters, fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote with players and media each representing 25 percent. 

PODCAST: WHAT CHANGES SHOULD THE WIZARDS MAKE?

Here are the starters from each conference. Keep in mind these groups will be split up once the captains pick their teams:

EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR STARTERS

G Kyrie Irving, Celtics -- 2,170,833 fan votes (5th All-Star appearance)

G DeMar DeRozan, Raptors -- 998,999 fan votes (4th)

F LeBron James, Cavs -- 2,638,294 fan votes (14th)

F Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks -- 2,530,211 fan votes (2nd)

F Joel Embiid, Sixers -- 1,285,587 fan votes (1st)

RELATED: BROOKS FEELS GOOD ABOUT WALL AND BEAL'S ALL-STAR CHANCES

WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR STARTERS

G Stephen Curry, Warriors -- 2,379,494 fan votes (5th All-Star appearance)

G James Harden, Rockets -- 1,486,830 fan votes (6th)

F Kevin Durant, Warriors -- 2,238,406 fan votes (9th)

F Anthony Davis, Pelicans -- 1,088,230 fan votes (4th)

F DeMarcus Cousins, Pelicans -- 922,269 fan votes (4th)

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS