Capitals

Friday's Sports in Brief

Friday's Sports in Brief

NEW YORK (AP) Alex Rodriguez watched the New York Yankees' biggest game of the year on the bench.

After being pinch hit for in Games 3 and 4 of the AL division series against the Baltimore Orioles, the $275 million third baseman was removed from the starting lineup for Game 5 on Friday.

Eric Chavez started at third base and went 0 for 3, while Game 3 star Raul Ibanez was the designated hitter and singled in the game's first run in the Yankees' 3-1 victory. It was the first time A-Rod didn't start a postseason game for his team since 1995.

The 37-year-old Rodriguez was 2 for 16 (.125) with no RBIs in the series, going hitless in 12 at-bats against right-handed pitchers with nine strikeouts. He was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in the opener against Jason Hammel, Baltimore's Game 5 starter.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco outfielder Melky Cabrera has been reinstated by Major League Baseball after serving a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test, but he will not be part of the Giants' playoff roster.

Cabrera is back on the Giants' 40-man roster as of Friday. Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans says, ``Cabrera's status regarding the postseason remains unchanged'' after the club announced Sept. 27 it wouldn't add Cabrera for any round.

The Giants open the NL championship series on Sunday.

Cabrera was suspended Aug. 15, a month he was the All-Star game MVP. He was batting .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs in his first season with San Francisco.

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NFL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - All four players punished in the NFL's bounty investigation have filed appeals with the league. People familiar with the situation say the players have asked Commissioner Roger Goodell to remove himself as arbitrator because they do not believe he can be impartial.

One of the people also says New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma expects to play at Tampa Bay on Oct. 21 while his appeal is pending. The people spoke to The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because the appeals were filed as private documents with the league.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed Friday that all four players had filed appeals, but said the league would decline comment on the substance of those documents.

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is taking on another coach.

Less than a year after an on-field confrontation with Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz over a postgame handshake, Harbaugh is miffed with New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.

Harbaugh accused Gilbride on Friday of making outrageous and incendiary comments about All-Pro defensive end Justin Smith in an effort to influence officials prior to Sunday's game between the teams that met in the NFC title game in January.

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SOCCER

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua (AP) - Eddie Johnson rewarded his coach's faith in him - twice.

In his first game back with the U.S. national team, Johnson scored a pair of goals Friday night, including the winner in second-half injury time, lifting the United States to the verge of advancing in World Cup qualifying with a nervous 2-1 victory over Antigua and Barbuda.

If the Americans win or draw with Guatemala on Tuesday night in Kansas City, Kan., they would move into the six-nation final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The U.S. (3-1-1) has 10 points and so does Guatemala after a 2-1 win over Jamaica (2-2-1), which has seven points. The top two teams in the group advance.

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AUTO RACING

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - It's hard to bet against Joey Logano these days when it comes to the Nationwide Series.

Logano raced to his eighth Nationwide Series victory of the year Friday night, passing Brad Keselowski with eight laps to go after taking on two tires and a splash of gas.

Logano led 62 laps en route to his 17th career victory and first at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He has made 18 series starts this season.

Keselowski gambled by making a quick pit stop with nine laps left, but his pit crew didn't get enough fuel in his tank and he couldn't challenge for the lead. He finished 18th.

Kevin Harvick was second, followed by Nationwide Series point leader Elliott Sadler. Kyle Busch finished fourth and Denny Hamlin fifth in a competitive race that included 11 Sprint Cup regulars.

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GOLF

SAN MARTIN, Calif. (AP) - John Mallinger opened a four-stroke lead Friday in the Frys.com Open, making an eagle and two birdies on the final four holes for a 9-under 62.

Mallinger eagled the par-5 15th and closed with consecutive birdies to cap his second straight bogey-free round and reach 14 under at CordeValle Golf Club.

Billy Horschel and Jhonattan Vegas were second. Horschel had a 65, and Vegas shot 67.

First-round leader Nick O'Hern followed his opening 62 with a 71 to drop into a tie for fourth at 9 under with European Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts and Scott Dunlap. Colsaerts had a 68, and Dunlap shot 63.

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CONOVER, N.C. (AP) - Dan Forsman shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over Fred Funk, David Frost and Larry Mize after the first round of the Greater Hickory Classic.

Forsman had eight birdies and a bogey at Rock Barn Golf and Spa's Jones Course. He won the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii in January for his third Champions Tour title.

Frost and Mize had bogey-free rounds, and Funk had four birdies and a closing eagle on the par-5 18th.

Defending champion Mark Wiebe and Jay Don Blake shot 67. Wiebe had a hole-in-one on No. 3.

Tom Lehman, 69 points behind leader Bernhard Langer in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, opened with a 68. Langer, the winner Sunday in the SAS Championship in Cary, had a 70.

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Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

DALLAS — Hours after being named head coach of the New York Islanders on Thursday, Barry Trotz made his first public comments since stepping down in Washington earlier in the week.

And, from the sounds of it, his departure was mostly a business decision.

“Yeah, obviously, I love the D.C. area,” he told reporters on a conference call. “But when it came to the business aspect, from my standpoint, I felt that it wasn’t really sincere [given] what we did together. So I decided that it was better to just move on.”

“I thank the fans,” he added. “I’m glad we could get it done. I said we could get it done in four years, and we did.”

Although the value of his contract with the Islanders has not been publicly disclosed, Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Trotz is set to earn “at least $4 million” per year—or more than twice what he was earning in Washington.

A source told NBC Sports Washington earlier this week that Trotz, who directed the Caps to their first Stanley Cup two weeks ago, sought $5 million per season for five seasons. The five-year term, that source said, was a non-starter as far as the Caps were concerned, given the relatively short shelf life of NHL coaches and the fact that Trotz had already been in Washington for four seasons.

When it became clear that the sides weren’t going to close the considerable gap between their positions, Trotz offered to step down and the resignation was accepted, making the 55-year-old a free agent.

When “I got the [counteroffer], I guess I knew it was time to go in a different direction,” he said.

In New York, Trotz replaces Doug Weight, who was fired earlier this month along with GM Garth Snow. Lou Lamoriello, a longtime NHL executive, took over for Snow and immediately started a search for a new head coach.

Once Trotz became available, it didn’t take Lamoriello to zero in on the NHL's fifth all-time winningest coach. The two met, exchanged ideas and quickly realized that they had found a good fit in one another. Trotz said he's already reached out to the Islanders' star captain, John Tavares, who could become the biggest prize on the free agent market on July 1. 

And, like that, Trotz now is the coach of a Metropolitan Division foe. The Caps and Isles will face off four times next season, beginning with a Nov. 26meeting in New York.

It’ll be weird, for sure. But professional sports is a business. And all sides involved in the Trotz saga were served a painful reminder of that this week.

Asked if he felt wanted in Washington, Trotz said: “Well, I’ll leave that up to the Caps to answer that. I think, absolutely. We just won a cup together and so I don't think that was an issue. I think it was more principle.”

In the end, Trotz wanted to be compensated like one of the top coaches in the game. And now he will, settling in behind big market coaches such as Toronto’s Mike Babcock ($6.25 million per year), Chicago’s Joel Quenneville ($6 million) and Montreal’s Claude Julien ($5 million).

“It’s good to be wanted,” he said. “It happened really quickly because you go from one emotion of winning the cup to the next emotion of leaving the team that you just won the Cup with, and you have to make some quick decisions. I know the timing of it—end of the season, the draft coming up, free agency [and] all that—there was some urgency on that. Both parties knew that, so we went to work at it and got it done.”

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Wizards’ First Round draft pick, Troy Brown is a Vegas Golden Knights fan

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Twitter/@MikeGrimala

Wizards’ First Round draft pick, Troy Brown is a Vegas Golden Knights fan

Uh, oh it may get awkward in Capital One Arena.

The newest draft pick for the Washington Wizards, Troy Brown is a Vegas Golden Knights fan.

Brown, who went to high school in Las Vegas, Nevada, wore a Golden Knights’ jersey on draft night.

The 18-year-old must not have known he was going to Washington, the home of the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals. He would have known better, right? Either way, we can't hold it against him because again he's from Vegas.

It’s a good thing it only took the Capitals five games to win the Cup, otherwise, that might make it a little tense. At least he wasn’t wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey right?

Ted Leonsis will get him rocking the red in no time.

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