Nationals

Friday's Sports In Brief

Friday's Sports In Brief

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) Alabama coach Nick Saban sent home two backup players from the BCS championship game for violating curfew.

A person with knowledge of the decision said the players were freshman linebackers Dillon Lee and Ryan Anderson. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school didn't release names.

A statement from Saban announced the disciplinary action. Alabama's student newspaper, The Crimson White, first identified the players.

Lee played in eight games, mostly on kickoff coverage. He did intercept a pass in his college debut against Michigan in the season opener and made his only tackle in that game.

Anderson didn't play this season.

The second-ranked Crimson Tide will play No. 1 Notre Dame on Monday night.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M became the fourth FBS quarterback with 20 touchdowns passing and 20 touchdowns rushing in the same season.

Manziel got his school-record 20th rushing touchdown on the Aggies' opening drive of the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma when he tiptoed 23 yards down the sideline. He added a 5-yard TD run before halftime. The first freshman to win the Heisman, Manziel also has 24 passing TDs.

The other 20-20 quarterbacks were Auburn's Cam Newton and Florida's Tim Tebow, who like Manziel are Heisman winners from the SEC, and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick.

Three other A&M players had 19 rushing TDs in a season, the last Jorvorskie Lane in 2006.

NHL

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal mediator held over 12 hours of separate talks with the NHL and the players' association before stopping for the night with a promise to get going again in the morning.

The sides remained apart all day, buffered by the presence of federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh, who shuttled back and forth between the hotel where the union is working, and the league office. He started at 10 a.m. EST and wrapped up discussions for the day shortly before 11 p.m.

Similar talks were scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

It still isn't known when the league and the union will get back together at the bargaining table. Neither side provided details, but the all-day discussions may signal progress.

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) - With the ink not even dry on the New York Jets' dreadful season, Rex Ryan fled to the Bahamas only to be photographed lounging poolside at a resort hotel, book in hand, with an interesting tattoo gracing his right biceps.

It showed his wife, Michelle, wearing an unmistakably green Jets jersey emblazoned with the unmistakable No. 6 of embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez - and nothing else.

The Daily News ran a front-page photo and by lunchtime it was an Internet sensation. That's pretty much the way the NFL team's soap-opera season played out. Ryan was criticized for sticking with Sanchez despite losing efforts when Tim Tebow was available. The Jets finished the season 6-10.

NBA

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kobe Bryant is no longer a holdout. He's on Twitter.

With five words - ``The antisocial has become social'' - the Los Angeles Lakers guard sent the first tweet from his account. About 365,000 people were following his verified account, (at)kobebryant, within a few hours.

Bryant tiptoed into the Twitterverse last week when he briefly took over Nike basketball's account, sending out things like a photo of him hanging out with his daughter, an ice bath that he was dreading and even a suit he was wearing to a particular game.

Heat star LeBron James has 6.8 million followers, the most of any NBA player.

GOLF

LONDON (AP) - World No. 1 Rory McIlroy said he may skip the 2016 Olympics because of the dilemma over which country to represent.

McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, is eligible to compete for either Britain or Ireland when golf returns to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. McIlroy said in a BBC documentary that missing the Olympics is ``definitely an option'' because ``I don't want to upset too many people.''

McIlroy stirred controversy last year when he said in a British newspaper interview that he felt ``more British than Irish.'' He then posted a letter on Twitter saying he grew up ``a proud product of Irish golf'' and had not made a decision on the Olympics.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - The seven Catholic schools that have decided to leave the Big East and form their own league continued to plot the future, retaining Proskauer Rose LLP and Pilson Communications, Inc., to aid in their defection.

St. John's, Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, Seton Hall, Providence and Villanova all decided last month to set off on their own as the Big East continues to reshape itself.

The university presidents met in New York to discuss the future of the new league. They vow to ``Honor the history and tradition on which the Big East was established.''

There is no timetable for when other schools will join the league.

CYCLING

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The New York Times reported that Lance Armstrong, who has strongly denied the doping charges that led to him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, has told associates he is considering admitting to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The report cited anonymous sources and said Armstrong was considering a confession to help restore his athletic career in triathlons and running events at age 41.

Armstrong was banned for life from cycling and cannot compete in athletic events sanctioned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

But Armstrong attorney Tim Herman told The Associated Press he had no knowledge of Armstrong considering a confession.

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3 things to watch when the .500 Nationals head to Colorado

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3 things to watch when the .500 Nationals head to Colorado

The Nationals face the Rockies at Coors Field for the first half of this work week. Here are three things to watch for:

  1. Can the Nationals stay above .500? Stephen Strasburg’s impressive start along with Ryan Zimmerman’s two homers and two RBI kept Washington from being swept by the lowly Marlins.

  2. Who will produce with Anthony Rendon out? While the Nats 3B was sidelined with an elbow injury after being hit by a pitch in Saturday’s outing against the Marlins, Howie Kendrick started in his place. Kendrick went 1-for-3 vs Miami with one RBI and one strikeout. In terms of replacing Rendon’s hitting prowess, Victor Robles has started a streak of his own. The youngster is hot on a seven game hit streak, including a bunt over the infield Sunday.

  3. Will the Nationals ever sure up their end game? Yesterday’s ninth inning was on the brink of disaster. Kyle Barraclough allowed back-to-back walks, then Sean Doolittle loaded the bases. Luckily for the Nats, crisis averted.

Download the MyTeams app (https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/myteams-nbc-sports ) for even more Nationals content, and check out the latest episode of the Racing Presidents podcast below.

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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

Friday saw the Toronto Maple Leafs pull ahead 3-2 and the Colorado Avalanche eliminate the favored Calgary Flames. Saturday provided another elimination game and two teams pulled ahead 3-2 in their series.

Here are the results from Saturday.

St. Louis Blues eliminate Winnipeg Jets with 3-2 win

The Blues return to the second round of the playoffs after they were eliminated in the first round last season.

The Blues rally started 23 seconds into the game, when Jaden Schwartz put home a Brayden Schenn rebound.

Schwartz followed with two more goals, completing the hat trick. It's the second natural hat trick in a playoff series clinching game since Geoff Courtnall in 1992.

The Blues await the winner of the Nashville-Dallas series.

Dallas Stars pull ahead of Nashville Predators in 5-3 victory

The Stars were able to steal one from the Predators at Bridgestone Arena thanks to Jason Dickinson and Alexander Radulov's two goal performances.

Tyler Seguin added a goal of his own to pull the Stars ahead 4-2 at the end of the second period, and Ben Bishop recorded 30 saves.

The Stars have a chance to close the series at home Monday night.

Washington Capitals take upperhand on Carolina Hurricanes with 6-0 shutout

After dropping Game 4 in Carolina 2-1, the Caps exploded for six goals against the Hurricanes in a 6-0 win.

Nicklas Backstrom scored the opening two goals. He leads the Capitals in playoff goals with five and had a four point night.

The Caps also got production from their bottom six with Brett Connolly's goal and Nic Dowd's converted penalty shot. It's the first penalty shot a Caps player has successfully made in the playoffs.

Braden Holtby's shutout gave him seven in the playoffs, surpassing Olaf Kolzig's six for the franchise lead. The Caps have a chance to win the series in Carolina Monday night.

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