Tigers' Phil Coke happy to return to AT&T Park

Tigers' Phil Coke happy to return to AT&T Park

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Phil Coke remembered the only other time he had in AT&T Park. Back then, he was a student at San Joaquin Delta College and just another fan.

``I actually sat right out here on the second tier here by the foul pole, and watched the game,'' the Detroit reliever said Tuesday, a day before the World Series opener against San Francisco. ``I watched Barry Bonds hit two bombs. I came sprinting up the stairs over in the right-field corner and they announced his name. I tore through the parking lot and handed my ticket off and ran up the stairs in time to see the pitch, the swing and him launch the ball into the water. It was pretty cool.''

Following Jose Valverde's meltdown in the AL championship series opener at Yankee Stadium, Tigers manager Jim Leyland used the left-handed Coke to get saves in Games 2 and 3.

Leyland said he hasn't figured out who will close in the Series.

``My only expectation is that I want to go out there and do the best job I can,'' Coke said.


HOT TICKET, BUT PRICES FALL: As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 11,000-plus listing for tickets for the World Series opener on the resale market, according to, with an average price of $784 and a low of $313. Later in the day, listings dropped to 9,200 and the low fell to $256. A day earlier, when there were more than 12,000 listings, the average price was $1,093 and the low $395.


GAME 7 ATTENTION: San Francisco's 9-0 win over St. Louis in Game 7 of the NL championship series was seen by 8.1 million households on Fox, competing for attention against the third debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

The game averaged a 4.9 rating and 7 share, according to fast national ratings, and peaked at a 5.8/9 just before the debate began.

The NLCS averaged a 4.0/7, down from the 4.4/8 for Texas' six-game win over Detroit in last year's ALCS on Fox but up 38 percent over the 2.9/5 for the Cardinals' six-game win over Milwaukee in last year's NLCS on TBS.

Detroit's sweep of the Yankees averaged 5.9 million viewers and a 3.8 rating this year on TBS.


MELKY VS. MOTA: Giants manager Bruce Bochy reiterated San Francisco will not add All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera to the World Series roster following the end of his 50-game drug suspension - a decision the team made Sept. 27.

Reliever Guillermo Mota has been part of the team's postseason roster following his 100-game suspension for a second violation for a positive test. Bochy didn't plan to announce his World Series roster until Wednesday.

Cabrera was suspended Aug. 15 for 50 games after testing positive for testosterone, and the ban ended with the completion of the division series. The Giants activated Mota on Aug. 28 after he came off the restricted list.

Mota tested positive for clenbuterol, which he said was in children's cough syrup. His first suspension came in November 2006 when he was with the New York Mets. Mota became just the third major league player disciplined twice for positive drug tests.

``I think they're two different situations really,'' Bochy said. ``I mean, one happened during the season with Mota, and he was available to help us out during the season. So we made a spot there for him. Now, with Melky, we felt when that happened, as far as losing him, the club played very well, and the guys that we had been putting out there have done the job. They've earned this, and this is the way we're going to move forward.''


IN ORDER: Madison Bumgarner will pitch Game 2 of the World Series for San Francisco on Thursday, giving the Giants back-to-back lefties after Barry Zito goes in the opener.

Righty Ryan Vogelsong will pitch Game 3 on Saturday at Detroit and ace Matt Cain will go in Game 4. Two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum will remain in the bullpen, providing options.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy could have flip-flopped, starting Cain on full rest in Game 3.

``Well, I like the way Vogelsong is throwing, too,'' Bochy said. ``He's throwing the ball as well as anybody on the staff, so we just kept it in order. If Vogelsong gets the last start, we have no problem with that. I know Matt has worked hard, he's got a lot of innings. I didn't think we needed to flip-flop the two, to be honest.''


VENEZUELAN REUNION: Miguel Cabrera heard about Pablo Sandoval long before the Kung Fu Panda became a San Francisco sensation as a major league third baseman with the Giants.

Cabrera played for a few years as a teammate with Sandoval's older brother, Michael, back home in Venezuela. Michael would often brag about his younger brother's exploits.

``He always told me his little brother would be good, and he's right,'' Cabrera said. ``It's very exciting to see.''

Sandoval remembered watching Cabrera back home and marveled at his talent.

``That's a great hitter,'' he recalled of his first impression. ``The first time I saw him play he was so big to be a shortstop. My brother told me they'd move him some day to third base because he has a bat but he was too big to be a shortstop.''

Now Cabrera and Sandoval are two of at least nine Venezuelans playing in this year's World Series along with San Francisco's Marco Scutaro, Gregor Blanco, Hector Sanchez and Jose Mijares; and Detroit's Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante and Avisail Garcia.

``I have a good relationship with all those guys,'' Cabrera said. ``It will be exciting to play against them. It will be extra motivation.''


AP Sports Writers Janie McCauley and Josh Dubow contributed to this report.

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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 18, 39 days before the NFL draft.  

Looking at next year’s free agents

There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens.

Note: I’m not including Brandon Scherff here because the team has a fifth-year option on him that they surely will activate before the May 2 deadline.

QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?

OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard).

OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility.

WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon.

ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup.

Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight.

It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Regarding the reported visit of defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins with the Redskins:


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 29
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 131
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 175

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Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 72 Capitals at Flyers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

When: 5:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Flyers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Flyers game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals (41-23-7) take on the Flyers (36-25-11) Sunday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET in Philadelphia.


The Capitals-Flyers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

4:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
4:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
5:00 p.m. — Capitals at Flyers
7:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
8:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
9:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


The Capitals-Flyers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.