Nationals

Brooklyn returns to pro sports with Nets opener

Brooklyn returns to pro sports with Nets opener

NEW YORK (AP) Brooklyn returned to major pro sports on Saturday, welcomed back by some beloved former stars and ready to embrace the Nets the way it once did the Dodgers.

The Nets played their delayed first regular-season game at Barclays Center, two days after they were supposed to open against the New York Knicks. That was postponed by Superstorm Sandy that heavily damaged the city's mass-transit system, but the building seemed nearly full during a lively pregame ceremony despite lingering transportation troubles.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said he was honored to ``celebrate the resiliency of this community'' and to ``welcome Brooklyn, USA to the NBA.''

The Nets are the first major pro sports team to play in Brooklyn since the Dodgers left in 1957. Former Dodgers Ralph Branca and Joe Pignatano, a Brooklyn native, and Gil Hodges, Jr., whose father starred with the Dodgers, exchanged jerseys with Nets players.

The Nets were completely rebranded after moving from New Jersey, where they spent 35 years, with a new logo and black-and-white color scheme. Plagued by poor attendance during their final years in Jersey and rarely beloved in any of them, they may not have that problem in Brooklyn.

``Brooklyn is Brooklyn and Manhattan is New York, and Brooklyn has always been considered second class to Manhattan. But that's only Manhattan's thinking. Brooklyn's the best,'' Branca said. ``I mean, the fans were the greatest, and I anticipate with the advent of the Nets coming here, a major league franchise coming here, they're going to have fans that are major league fans. If anything like the Dodgers fans, the Brooklyn Nets fans will be the same, loyal to the end.''

Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov has vowed he will give Brooklyn a winner, saying when he bought the team his goal was to win a title in five years. The billionaire bachelor joked that since he's two years into his ownership and said he'd get married if he didn't meet his deadline that he was ``maybe the most devoted guy for the championship.''

But he was serious when talking about the effects of Sandy, which caused devastation around the region. Prokhorov flew to New York on Friday, feeling it was important to be here, and saying the disappointment over not being able to open with the highly anticipated game against the Knicks was ``nothing compared to what people have suffered last few days.''

``To those who made it out tonight for the game, thank you for the extra effort. And for those who wanted to be but couldn't, and maybe they are listening on the radio or watching on the TV, we really hope to take your mind off of problems for a few hours and really we are very glad you're with us in spirit,'' Prokhorov said during a pregame press conference.

``I think it's a great credit to this country and to the city that the game will go on in spite of all the problems.''

The Dodgers players recalled that owner Walter O'Malley wanted to build a new stadium to replace Ebbets Field right across the street from the site where Barclays Center is on the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush, right above the Long Island Rail Road. That never materialized and they ended up moving across the country.

Brooklyn's been waiting for a team of its own ever since.

``I think it's a great day for the community,'' Prokhorov said.

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Nationals Roundup: Nats blow multiple leads in frustrating walk-off loss to Mets

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Nationals Roundup: Nats blow multiple leads in frustrating walk-off loss to Mets

The Nationals lost to the New York Mets, 6-5, Tuesday to drop their record to 19-29. 

Consider these news and notes as Washington trudges through its four-game series in New York: 

Players Notes:

NATIONALS: 

Erick Fedde made his first start of the season for Washington Tuesday night and put together a solid outing. The 26-year-old threw five innings of one-run baseball, allowing four hits, a walk, and strikeout. Thirty-one of his 61 pitches were sinkers.

Do you believe in the broadcaster's jinx theory? Perhaps you might after reading up on what Juan Soto did in the 2nd inning Tuesday. Then, later in the 8th, Soto scorched a go-ahead double to deep right notching his 100th career RBI. 

METS: 

Amed Rosario was the hero at Citi Field. His walk-off infield single off Kyle Barraclough was the difference in New York's 6-5 comeback win. 

The Mets got a quality start from starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, who threw seven innings of four-hit ball, three earned runs, two walks, and six strikeouts. 78 of his 118 pitches were thrown for strikes. 

Pete Alonso is lighting it up right now. His game-tying 417-foot home run in the 8th marked his 16th of the season. 

Injuries: 

SP Jeremy Hellickson: hamstring, expected to be out until at least May 31

RP Justin Miller: shoulder, expected to be out until at least May 31

SP Anibal Sanchez: hamstring, expected to be out until at least May 27

OF Andrew Stevenson: back, expected to be out until at least May 24

1B Matt Adams: shoulder, expected to be out until at least May 22

1B Ryan Zimmerman: foot, expected to be out until at least May 23

RP Koda Glover: elbow, expected to be out until at least May 25

RP Trevor Rosenthal: viral infection, Expected to be out until at least May 21

RP Austen Williams: shoulder, expected to be out until at least Jun 13

Coming Up:

Wednesday, 5/22: Nationals @ Mets, 7:10 p.m. ET, Citi Field 

Thursday, 5/23: Nationals @ Mets, 12:10 p.m. ET, Citi Field

Friday, 5/24: Marlins @ Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET, Nationals Park

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Brandon Scherff confirms that he and the Redskins have 'been talking' about a contract extension

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Brandon Scherff confirms that he and the Redskins have 'been talking' about a contract extension

Bruce Allen identified getting a contract extension done for Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff as one of the Redskins biggest priorities of the 2019 offseason. To this point, however, nothing has happened. 

That doesn't seem to have Scherff concerned. 

"We've been talking, but I'm not really worried about that," he said after OTAs on Monday. "I'm here for another year, so that's all I'm worried about right now. Everything will take care of itself."

Scherff, the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has played at an elite level since his rookie season. He's made two Pro Bowl teams in four years, and until last year, had been remarkably durable. 

In 2018, Scherff's season started very strong. 'Skins coach Jay Gruden described the former Iowa Hawkeye as the best pulling guard in the NFL and it was well-earned praise. Then, in a Week 8 loss, Scherff went down with a torn pectoral muscle. His season was over. 

At OTAs, however, Scherff was a full participant with no brace or apparent encumbrances from the injury. 

"I'm feeling really good, just taking it slow and making sure I'm 100 percent," he said. 

Expect the free agent market to be quite bullish. Once a lesser-paid position than tackle, guards have recently started pulling in significant cash. Zach Martin's recent contract extension in Dallas pays him more than $14 million per season, and Jacksonville is paying Andrew Norwell more than $13 million this year. 

For Scherff, expect top of the market money. He has the talent, pedigree and ability that if Washington won't pay in the neighborhood of Martin and Norwell, he can wait for free agency. 

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