Nationals

Season, maybe career, over for Browns' Fujita

Season, maybe career, over for Browns' Fujita

BEREA, Ohio (AP) D'Qwell Jackson turned and looked at the empty chair in front of Scott Fujita's locker, where his good friend and teammate would normally be sitting after practice.

Fujita wasn't there. He might be gone for good.

The forthright Fujita, one of the league's most informed players, will be placed on injured reserve with a neck injury, ending his stormy season - and perhaps his football career.

One of four players suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal, Fujita was inactive for Cleveland's past two games. He last started on Oct. 7 against the New York Giants in what may have been his final game as a pro.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur spoke with Fujita before practice, but he does not know if the 11-year veteran will retire.

At the very least, Fujita's season is over.

``It's tough, man,'' said Jackson, who started at linebacker alongside Fujita. ``Just having him around the building, his personality and the guy that he is, it's a loss for all of us.''

The 33-year-old Fujita underwent neck surgery in college. Jackson said one of his closest friends is having to contemplate not playing again.

``Anytime you get to that point of your career, ideally everyone in this locker room, we're all taking notes, we want to retire and not because of injury,'' Jackson said. ``It's a tough pill to swallow.''

Fujita was not available for interviews. He was at the team's facility earlier in the day, but had left by the time the locker room was open to reporters. The Browns have not officially made a roster move with Fujita, but Shurmur said it will happen.

Fujita's season has been marred by injuries and the suspension. He has always maintained his innocence from the pay-for-hits program and Goodell recently reduced Fujita's three-game suspension to one. However, Fujita was angered by a letter he received from the commissioner and harshly criticized Goodell for ``abuse of power'' in handling the Saints' situation. Fujita also questioned the commissioner's track record on player safety, saying he has done more to help his peers through his activities as an executive council member for the NFL Players' Association.

It's not yet known if Fujita will continue to fight to clear his name.

Jackson said Fujita was able to block out the distractions, but it wasn't easy.

``He's a strong-willed guy and you would never know he had so much going on,'' Jackson said. ``He was the same guy, but you know at some point it had to affect him and his household. And for this happen, it's another setback.''

Fujita signed with the Browns as a free agent in 2010 after spending four seasons with the Saints. He played just 23 of a possible 39 games with the Browns because of injuries.

He's highly respected in the locker room and on the field, and the Browns will miss Fujita's leadership. However, Fujita was not part of Cleveland's long-term plans as the team has been immersed in a youth movement this season.

Jackson said he learned from Fujita.

``He has a system in the way he does things,'' Jackson said. ``He's here in the morning early, he sticks to it and he's a pro's pro. And for him to do it for so many years. You sit back and watch the way he plays and when he's around, he enjoys being here.''

With Fujita sidelined, rookie James-Michael Johnson will likely start at strongside linebacker on Sunday against San Diego. Johnson has started Cleveland's past two games, recording three tackles.

Shurmur said losing Fujita's savvy and knowledge hurts, and that Johnson and rookie L.J. Fort will need to step up.

``Just from a roster standpoint, we got younger guys playing those positions and when you got a guy who has experience there's things that he can add to the mix,'' Shurmur said. ``On the other side of it some of the youth and enthusiasm and fresher legs add another little dimension.''

If Fujita retires, Jackson knows his teammate will be successful in whatever he chooses to do next. Fujita has been active in many social causes, including raising awareness for former Saints teammate Steve Gleason, who is afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

``Whatever he decides to get into after football, I'll be right there beside him,'' Jackson said. ``He's interesting, man. He's going to fight the fight no matter what.''

---(equals)

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Nationals Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Nationals Spring Training Schedule 2018

Now that pitchers and catchers have reported, the next step in our long journey to Opening Day is the spring training games themselves. Not every game is televised, so get ready to follow along with your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll still be exciting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Bryce Harper homered again, or if Max Scherzer is perfect through 4 innings (spoiler: both of these will happen).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing contracts in the next few weeks. The Nats are always willing to make a big splash, and even beyond the available free agents, have been linked to impact players like J.T. Realmuto in trade rumors.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the roster has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be happening while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for their seasons, so bookmark this page to check on the Nationals spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Nationals 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Braves at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Feb. 26 - Nationals at Braves, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 1 (SS) - Nationals at Braves, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 (SS) - Nationals at Mets, 1:10 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 (SS) - Tigers at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 (SS) - Nationals at Mets, 1:10 pm
Monday, Mar. 5 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 6 (SS) - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Mets at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Nationals at Tigers, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Tuesday, Mar. 13 (SS) - Mets at Nationals, 7:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 (SS) - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Mar. 17 - Mets at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm (ESPN2) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Nationals at Mets, 6:10 pm
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Astros at Nationals, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 - Nationals at Marlins, 7:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Tuesday, Mar. 27 (at Nationals Park) - Twins at Nationals, 4:05 pm
 

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hecticfew weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm