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5-month-old daughter of Mets' Landon Powell dies

5-month-old daughter of Mets' Landon Powell dies

NEW YORK (AP) The 5-month-old daughter of New York Mets catcher Landon Powell has died.

The family said on its Facebook page that Izzy Powell died Friday night of an immune disease that attacked her liver and bone marrow.

The family wrote in a post Saturday that she ``fought until the end'' and ``her life served a great purpose in her short 5 months on this earth.''

Taken by Oakland with the 24th pick on the first round of the 2004 amateur draft, Powell played for the Athletics from 2009-11 and spent last year at Houston's Triple-A team in Oklahoma City. He agreed to a minor league contract with the Mets on Jan. 18.

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Online:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Prayers-for-Izzy/495219343830343?sk=info

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John Wall on what he's learned sitting out due to his Achilles injury

John Wall on what he's learned sitting out due to his Achilles injury

It has been 419 days since John Wall last played in an NBA game. That is nearly 14 months of rehabbing injuries; first from surgery to remove bone spurs in his heel, then surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles.

That has given Wall plenty of time to take a step back, watch the game of basketball and ponder what it will be like when he finally returns to the court, which right now looks like it will be in October to begin next season. During this time off, Wall has had some realizations about basketball and its role in his life. He shared them in an in-depth conversation with NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller on the 'Wizards Talk podcast.'

"Now you understand how quickly and easily things can be taken away," Wall said.

Wall has also learned the value of patience. Since going viral with a series of dunks before games, he keeps hearing from others that he should be playing in games for the Wizards.

"Everybody was like ‘if he is doing these types of dunks, he can play.’ Well, there’s a lot more to basketball than just dunking," he said. "That’s not playing 38-to-40 minutes and then seeing how your body reacts the next day. You won’t know that until you play in a game. So, that’s why I’m not rushing the process and trying to re-injure anything. I’m just taking my time."

Wall said he has been pleased with his progress and that those videos going viral have been a reward for the time and effort he has put into his rehab. He also said he has been able to do even more behind closed doors, including a practice where he threw down a windmill dunk off his left, surgically-repaired leg.

Wall has long been a left-handed dunker because he would get more lift off his right leg due to injuries to the left. But after surgery, he is feeling better jumping off that leg.

If Wall can jump higher off his left leg, that should help him when he returns. But don't expect too many changes to the way he approaches the game.

Miller asked Wall if he would change the way he plays — if he would deviate from the same aggressive player who attacks the rim consistently.

"Nope," he said. "That’s all I know."

Wall spoke with Miller on a long list of topics including how Bradley Beal's game has changed, his respect for Davis Bertans' shooting ability and how he has dealt with the passing of his mother. You can listen to the full podcast here.

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Former Oriole Nick Markakis has rough words for Astros after cheating scandal

Former Oriole Nick Markakis has rough words for Astros after cheating scandal

Since the start of spring training, players all over Major League Baseball have given their thoughts on the Astros' cheating scandal and how commissioner Rob Manfred handled the situation. The consensus has been predominantly negative. 

Former Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis joined in Tuesday morning with some very strongly-worded comments regarding the commissioner's ruling and his feelings toward current Astros players. 

"I feel like every single guy over there needs a beating," Markakis said in a video posted by 680 The Fan. "It's wrong, they're messing with people's careers."

Markakis didn't specify what a "beating" would include, though multiple pitchers, including the Dodgers' Ross Stripling, have said publicly that they would consider throwing at Astros hitters during the season. 

"I know how hard this game is, I know how hard preparing for this game is," Markakis said. "To see something like that, it's damaging to baseball."

After the investigation concluded, the Astros were fined $5 million and were stripped of their first and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 draft. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were both suspended from baseball for a year and subsequentially fired for their involvement in the scheme. No Astros player was punished. 

"I think [Astros players] got off pretty easy," he said. "They're going to be able to go out there and compete with no ramifications at all, which is wrong. I think the commissioner handled it the wrong way, but that's the way he did it and that's the way we got to live with it. But I know a lot of people disagree with him and the way he handled the situation, he should be embarrassed of himself."

Houston's new manager, Dusty Baker was informed of Markakis' comments later that day and didn't appear too concerned with what the outfielder had to say. 

However, Baker has taken the threat of pitchers throwing at his players seriously. Last week he told the Houston Chronicle he hopes "the league puts a stop to this before somebody gets hurt."

The Astros will begin their spring training slate of games with a World Series rematch with the Nationals on Saturday. 

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