Nationals

Andy Murray into Australian Open semifinals

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Andy Murray into Australian Open semifinals

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) U.S. Open champion Andy Murray has reached the Australian Open semifinals after a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win over unseeded Jeremy Chardy of France.

The 25-year-old Murray had his service broken for only the second time while serving for the match. But he broke back in the next game to clinch a quarterfinal victory.

Murray, who ended a 76-year winless streak by British men in majors by winning the U.S. Open last year, will play either Roger Federer or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a semifinal on Friday.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic plays No. 4-seeded David Ferrer in the other semifinal.

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Yan Gomes was briefly a free agent but didn't want to 'restart' with a whole new team

Yan Gomes was briefly a free agent but didn't want to 'restart' with a whole new team

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- There was a brief time last offseason when Yan Gomes was a free agent. This was new. He had just won the World Series, everything was fantastic, a $9 million team option existed on his contract, then he was unemployed. Briefly. 

“Right out of the get-go, you start the offseason kind of becoming a free agent,” Gomes told NBC Sports Washington. “There wasn’t like a doubt that I wanted to come back. I made it known to them. We started having conversations. It didn’t start for a few weeks, almost a month. It was my first time being in free agency like that. I was [expletive] stressed out. But, once we started having our conversations it happened really fast. It was literally within three days and they offered and I said, 'Yeah.'”

Gomes could have been insulted by the team declining his option. He could have taken the brief time he was a free agent to really push another team. Instead, he told Washington he wanted to return, had shallow conversations with other teams, then signed as soon as he could. So, why? 

“Comfort level for sure,” Gomes said. “Knowing this team and really loving the guys and everything here. But it became, really, a family decision of almost wanting to stay on the East Coast. We live in Tennessee and the kids are going to school, and I would have thought of going somewhere out West  -- which, you know, after two years we’ll see how that goes -- but we wanted to stay closer, and D.C. being perfect, I didn’t want to do the whole restart, whole new team. I think it really just came down to the comfort level that I had here. The friendships that we built so quickly, I just kind of wanted to stay around.”

Gomes’ first season in Washington went poorly. His offense dipped, his work behind the plate resulted in a career high in passed balls and wild pitches (if the catcher blocks these, the number goes down). His caught-stealing percentage was also below his career average.

However, his offense picked up in September, which coincided with Kurt Suzuki’s elbow injury and more playing time. Gomes made 21 starts and produced an .850 OPS. His OPS for the season was just .704.

Gomes made 358 plate appearances during the regular season. Suzuki made 309. Their pitcher-pairings were clear: Suzuki caught Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Aníbal Sánchez. Gomes caught Patrick Corbin and the rotating cast of fifth starters. In spring training, Suzuki will be over with Corbin more often in case he needs to handle the left-hander during the regular season. Davey Martinez expects their playing-time share to be similar to last year no matter who they are catching.

“I like to think we could do the same thing, but we’ve got to be very careful,” Martinez said. “I know Suzuki looks good and ready to go, but we have to be very conscious of his injuries last year. I know Yan could catch every day. We’ll see how spring training goes. I definitely would like to keep it the same.”

Which is also what Gomes wanted. More of the same, so he's back in West Palm Beach for two more years.

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Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway discuss how they would survive a zombie apocalypse

Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway discuss how they would survive a zombie apocalypse

Have you ever wondered what to do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

Sure you have. 

In this worst-case scenario, it’s important to think about where you would go, what you would eat and what would be your weapon of choice. 

But no worries, if you haven’t thought that far ahead Washington Capitals players Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway have shared some ideas. 

On the latest episode of Between Two Blue Lines podcast, hosted by Zach Guerette, Dowd and Hathaway had some fun explaining how they would survive a zombie apocalypse.  

“I honestly think I would find as many bags of Power up as I could. Power up lasts forever and its high energy which you’re going to need battling zombies,” Hathaway said.

“I’ve always thought about this do you go into the woods and disappear? I mean the zombies necessarily shouldn’t be out there because they seem like they stick in cities,” Dowd chimed in.

“So the first thing I think I’d do is raid a gun store,” Dowd said.

When asked about their weapon of choice, Dowd replied, “Samurai sword, it’s so sharp you can’t run out of bullets.” 

Dowd and Hathaway also discussed The Bachelor. 

When asked which Capitals player would be eliminated first on the Bachelor, Garnet responded, “Lars.” “I would love to see V in that situation ... he would only last an episode.”

Dowd, on the other hand, answered, “Tom would be the guy that stirs the pot & gets people going.”

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