Orioles

Belcher's mom says she loves son, slain girlfriend

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Belcher's mom says she loves son, slain girlfriend

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The days since Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend then shot himself in the head have been very difficult for his mother, who said Wednesday that the slayings have not diminished her love for the couple.

Belcher's mother, Cheryl Shepherd, had been living with the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker and 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins to help care for their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey, and was at the couple's home Saturday morning when Perkins was shot.

``That's my son, and I love him,'' Shepherd said in a brief telephone conversation Wednesday. ``She's my daughter-in-law, just like my daughter.''

Shepherd declined to say anything more about her son.

Belcher shot Perkins at their Kansas City home then drove with a handgun to Arrowhead Stadium, where he thanked Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel for all they had done for him. The men tried to persuade Belcher to put the gun down, but when police arrived, Belcher moved behind a vehicle in the practice facility's parking lot, knelt down and shot himself in the head, police said.

Shepherd, 54, said she was not happy about the release Wednesday of recordings of the emergency phone call she made Saturday after Perkins was shot.

``I just got a phone call that they did that, and I don't appreciate it,'' she said. ``Right now I don't want to talk about it.''

In the emergency call, Shepherd begs Perkins to ``stay with me'' while frantically asking for an ambulance. She tells the dispatcher that Perkins is ``still breathing but please hurry. ... They were arguing, please hurry.''

Shepherd also told dispatchers that Perkins was bleeding, ``just barely'' awake and that it looked as though she was wounded in the back. She said Perkins moved when she spoke to her.

When a police dispatcher asked about Belcher, Shepherd says only: ``He left.''

Police arrived at the home about 7:50 a.m. They said in an incident report that they found Perkins' body on the floor of the master bathroom. She had been shot multiple times.

Shepherd, who has temporary custody of the couple's baby, said she and Perkins were very close.

``She was a lovely, beautiful young woman. And we had a beautiful relationship,'' Shepherd said.

The estate or guardian of Belcher's 3-month-old daughter will receive more than $1 million under terms of the NFL's collective-bargaining agreement.

The child stands to receive $108,000 annually over the next four years, $48,000 in the fifth year and then $52,000 each year until age 18. She'll continue to receive that amount until age 23 if she attends college.

The beneficiary of Belcher, who was in his fourth season, also will receive $600,000 in life insurance, plus $200,000 for each credited season. There is also $100,000 in a retirement account that will go to his beneficiary or estate.

Players' beneficiaries are kept confidential.

Shepherd said family members have been helping her a great deal since the shootings, but that she had trouble eating and sleeping while working on her son's funeral arrangements.

Mourners, including several Chiefs players, attended an hourlong private memorial service for Belcher on Wednesday in Kansas City. Retired Chiefs Hall of Famer Bobby Bell said afterward that Pioli and Belcher's uncle spoke during the service. He said it was ``rough'' on Pioli.

``This is a sad situation,'' Bell said. ``You never want to be put under those situations. Never. It's not good. You don't want to see things like that. I don't know how they got through it.''

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AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta and AP Writer Heather Hollingsworth contributed to this report.

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Orioles pitcher Ty Blach to have Tommy John surgery, Richie Martin to have wrist surgery

Orioles pitcher Ty Blach to have Tommy John surgery, Richie Martin to have wrist surgery

The Orioles were bitten by the injury bug early in camp, as they lost both pitcher Ty Blach and infielder Richie Martin for the season. 

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde confirmed Monday that Blach will have Tommy John surgery and Martin will have wrist surgery, which will sideline him for two to three months.

“Richie and Ty Blach, they’re both having surgery on Wednesday,” Hyde said on a conference call Monday afternoon. “Richie on his right wrist. Ty Blach is having Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.”

Blach, a left-handed pitcher, made his major league debut in 2016 as a member of the Giants. 

Last season in Baltimore, the 29-year-old threw in five games (all starts). He contributed 20 ⅔ innings pitched, posted a WHIP of 2.177 and an ERA of 11.32. He allowed 32 hits and six home runs with 17 strikeouts.

Recovery time for Tommy John Surgery is typically longer than a year, meaning Blach will be sidelined for this season as well as the majority — if not all — of next season.

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‘I just talked to Ty, and it’s awful for both of them,” Hyde said. “I felt really badly. Ty put himself in a really nice position, he’s been working really hard these last three months and he’s never been on the IL before in his career. To just feel something wrong in the second inning of an intersquad and it turns out to be Tommy John surgery, your heart goes out to him for the work he’s put in.”

Martin will likely miss the entire 2020 season, with his recovery expected to be two-to-three months. The regular season ends on Sept. 27.

Martin, 25, slashed .208/.260/.322 with 59 hits in 120 games last year for the Orioles. He made 89 starts at shortstop and posted a fielding percentage of .971. 

In 11 games of spring training this year, he slashed .286/.333/.536 with eight hits in 30 plate appearances. He also had seven RBIs.

“I loved the swing adjustments he was making,” Hyde said. “I just like the way Richie plays. He plays with energy, he comes to play every day, he’s an ultra-pro and it’s going to be tough not to have him.”

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Washington Mystics release revised 2020 schedule, open July 25 vs. Indiana Fever

Washington Mystics release revised 2020 schedule, open July 25 vs. Indiana Fever

The Washington Mystics are officially 12 days away from beginning their title-defending shortened season in Florida.

The WNBA released its updated 2020 schedule where each team will travel to Bradenton, Fla. to play a condensed 22-game season at IMG Academy spanning from July 25 to Sept. 12. 

The Mystics will open their year with the Indiana Fever and conclude the regular season with the New York Liberty.

Their schedule features eight nationally televised games on CBS Sports Network, ESPN and ESPN2. The Mystics will return to the national spotlight on July 25 against Indiana (CBSSN), July 30 against Seattle (ESPN), Aug. 7 against New York (ESPN2), Aug. 13 against Los Angeles (ESPN2), Aug. 19 against Atlanta (CBSSN), Aug. 28 against Phoenix (CBSSN), Sept. 2 against Seattle (CBSSN) and Sept. 10 against Connecticut (CBSSN).

The reigning WNBA champions will kick off their season on Saturday, July 25th at 5:00 p.m. against Indiana.

For the Mystics’ full 2020 schedule, click here.

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