Capitals

Unlike Seaver, Gooden and Strawberry, Wright stays

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Unlike Seaver, Gooden and Strawberry, Wright stays

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) David Wright wore a shirt with blue. His tie was bright orange.

While Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry left, Wright is following through on his goal of playing his entire career with the New York Mets.

``I've never pictured myself in a different uniform,'' he said Wednesday at a news conference to talk about his $138 million, eight-year contract, the largest in team history. ``It wouldn't be as meaningful, I think, if I were to win somewhere else.''

Playing in the shadow of the Yankees, the Mets have won just two World Series titles and none since 1986. Given their history, it seemed appropriate that Wright said, ``I've wanted to be here though the good times, through the bad times,'' echoing a line from the song ``I'm Still Here'' from the Stephen Sondheim musical ``Follies.''

Wright is a six-time All-Star who turns 30 on Dec. 20. He is the team's all-time hits leader and has a .301 career batting average.

The third baseman has never been to the World Series, falling one win short in 2006. He's seen Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and Francisco Rodriguez depart as the Mets slashed payroll during the fallout from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme that cost the Wilpon family, which owns the team, hundreds of millions of dollars.

``It just feels like there's so much unfinished business and I'd like to finish what I've started,'' Wright said. ``Honestly, it wouldn't mean as much to me winning somewhere else as it would obviously winning here.''

Talks began during the first week of October, when the Mets played a season-ending series at Miami.

``We went for a late bite to eat, couldn't find a place to eat, ended up at a burger joint, had a beer,'' said Jeff Wilpon, the owner's son and the team's chief operating officer. ``And I said, `Listen, I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure this gets done.'''

Wright, like most everyone around the Mets, worried about the team's finances. He wanted assurances the Wilpons wouldn't sell the team.

After the season, Wright met with general manager Sandy Alderson for a round of golf and a late lunch-early dinner at the Bayville Golf Club in Virginia Beach, Va., near Wright's home.

``It was surprisingly close,'' Alderson said of the golf score.

The discussion was serious.

``I was as brutally honest with him as I could be. And I think he was as brutally honest with me as he could be,'' Wright said.

Assured that the team had a commitment to winning and sufficient funds to follow through, Wright gave agents Sam and Seth Levinson the go-ahead. Wright said the deal came together during a 12-hour period last Thursday, starting when Seth Levinson had lunch with Alderson at the Loews Regency Hotel in Manhattan. Two conference calls followed the lunch, and the sides broke to go to a benefit for Mets employee Shannon Forde, who was diagnosed last summer with breast cancer.

Another conference call began at midnight, and the agreement came together. Wright gets $11 million next year, down from the $16 million he had been scheduled to make. His salaries will be $20 million in each of the following five seasons, $15 million in 2019 and $12 million in 2020. Some of the money will be deferred, and he gets full no-trade protection.

Wright looked to Cal Ripken Jr., Chipper Jones and Derek Jeter as his models, players spending their entire careers with one franchise. Growing up he had rooted for the Mets because their Triple-A farm team was in Norfolk, Va.

``I think there's something to be said for that, and I'm very proud of that,'' he said, ``to be able to be drafted at 18 by this organization, groomed, developed, make your big league debut with your favorite team growing up, having the opportunity for my family and friends to almost start bleeding blue and orange. So yeah, it was a no-brainer for me.''

Quietly watching from the side of the podium with a proud smile were Wright's father, mother and girlfriend Molly Beers.

Rhon Wright said his son's talent and dedication were apparent as a boy back home in Virginia. He recalled David playing ball with a bunch of 6-year-olds on a neighborhood team assembled by his wife, Elisa.

``Even at that age, I'd say it was championship caliber,'' he said.

``Darn tootin'!'' added Elisa.

Wright got past last year's criticism from Fred Wilpon, who in an interview with The New Yorker called him ``a really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar.''

``If we didn't have such a strong relationship, that would be something that would bother me,'' Wright said. ``But at the time, we had lost however many in a row. We had gotten off to a terrible start and he's a competitor. It would have been more odd if he just sat back and took the losing and got used to the losing.''

Wright is the leader of these Mets. Jeff Wilpon said he provides ``leadership without having to have a `C' on his chest.''

The next logical step is to make Wright captain. The only players to hold the title for the Mets were Keith Hernandez (1987-89), Gary Carter (co-captain 1988-89) and John Franco (2001-04). The decision rests with manager Terry Collins.

``If the players come in the spring and say, listen, we really want David to be the captain and be named the captain, then I'm sure Terry will bring that back and we'll do something like that,'' Jeff Wilpon said. ``But for right now, to me David is the captain. He's the longest-tenured and he commands the respect in the clubhouse.''

NOTES: Alderson said the Mets could leave the winter meetings without a decision on R.A. Dickey. The NL Cy Young Award winner wants a new contract for beyond 2013, and New York gauged what it could get in a trade if it doesn't reach a new deal. ``They want more than we're willing to give right now. We want to do it for less than they want to accept right now. Somewhere in between there's probably a deal to be done,'' Wilpon said.

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Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.

When: 8:30 p.m. ET

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

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

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals (33-17-7) take on the Blackhawks (24-26-8) Saturday, February 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Chicago.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Blackhawks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 7:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 8:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 11:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 12:30 a.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

7:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
8:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blackhawks
11:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
12:30 a.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Blackhawks game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Brett Connolly - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - Alex Chiasson
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Jakub Vrana, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals-Blackhawks 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.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS OPEN THREAD

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.

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2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Saturday Night is here with the three-point contest, dunk contest and skills competition set for Los Angeles.

Here is all you need to know: TV and live stream info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

2018 NBA ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)

PODCAST: ALL-STAR WEEKEND PREVIEW, WIZARDS AT THE BREAK 

Skills competition

Participants: Lou Williams, Clippers; Jamal Murray, Nuggets; Al Horford, Celtics; Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets; Joel Embiid, Sixers; Buddy Hield, Kings; Lauri Markkanen, Bulls; Andre Drummond, Pistons

What to know: This year's crop has a fascinating mix of guards and big men and don't sleep on the seven-footers. Embiid in particular has a unique skillset for his size. Still, it's tough to beat the guards. Watch out for Dinwiddie, who is the best passer of the bunch.

RELATED: BETTING ODDS FOR DUNK CONTEST, THREE-POINT CONTEST

Three-point contest

Participants: Klay Thompson, Warriors; Eric Gordon, Rockets; Devin Booker, Suns; Paul George, Thunder; Wayne Ellington, Heat; Bradley Beal, Wizards; Kyle Lowry, Raptors; Tobias Harris, Clippers

What to know: Thompson and Gordon enter the contest as past champions, as Thompson won it in 2016 and Gordon took it home last year. Thompson has the best three-point percentage among the group and is the favorite, but watch out for Beal, a past runner-up, and George who has the second best percentage. Also, Booker is one of the game's best young players and has a very smooth stroke from three.

RELATED: WIZARDS/BULLETS HISTORY ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Dunk contest

Participants: Dennis Smith Jr.; Mavericks; Donovan Mitchell, Jazz; Larry Nance Jr., Cavaliers; Victor Oladipo, Pacers

What to know: This is all about the rookies, Smith and Mitchell, who most are predicting to win. Oladipo has been in the contest before, but didn't win. He's also the only All-Star of the bunch. Nance is the only guy who isn't a guard and his father won it back in 1984. It will be interesting to see if he does some sort of nod to his old man, now 34 years later.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS