Nationals

McClain practices with Raiders

McClain practices with Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain met with coach Dennis Allen before returning to practice Wednesday after serving a two-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.

Allen would not discuss details of the meeting but said McClain would remain on the roster in a backup role after starting nine games this year before his suspension.

``I laid out exactly what the expectations are for him moving forward,'' Allen said. ``Really that's about it. We're moving on from there. Rolando's part of this team and we're going to move on.''

McClain had not been at the team's facilities since Nov. 28 when he was kicked out of practice following an argument with Allen. McClain was told not to return to practice and was suspended two days later.

That McClain is back with the Raiders is somewhat surprising considering he posted several comments on Facebook criticizing the team after he was sent home from practice. Those comments were later removed.

``Things get said in the heat of the moment,'' Allen said. ``We've gotta move on.''

Whether McClain has moved on is unknown.

The eighth overall pick in 2010, who posted that he was ``mentally done'' and ``just waiting on my papers'' after being sent home, did not appear in the Raiders locker room during the 45-minute media access period and did not issue a statement.

He practiced with Oakland's second-team defense Wednesday while Omar Gaither, who started at middle linebacker in place of McClain the past two weeks, continued to work with the starters.

Although neither McClain nor the Raiders have said publicly what the dispute between the two men was about, Allen acknowledged the linebacker was told before the suspension that he had lost his starting job on defense.

``Everybody makes mistakes in life, and to be honest I still don't know the whole story,'' Gaither said. ``I don't know who's at fault. (But) you welcome him back with open arms, put him back in the mix, and you just go from there.''

McClain was reinstated to Oakland's roster on Monday but was unable to meet with Allen because the coach was in Texas to attend his father's funeral.

In 41 career games with Oakland, McClain has 6 1/2 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, no fumble recoveries and did little to help improve Oakland's struggling run defense.

Other players who have struggled with the Raiders this season have already been released.

Starting cornerback Ron Bartell was cut on Monday as part of a handful of moves to open a roster spot for McClain. Backup fullback Owen Schmitt was also let go, three weeks after outside linebacker Aaron Curry - a projected starter before the season - was given his walking papers.

McClain has struggled so far in his career and has had his playing time sharply reduced in recent weeks, but Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie resisted the urge to cut him with three games left.

``Just different circumstances,'' Allen said. ``I'm not going to get into the specifics.''

Oakland's players didn't seem too concerned about McClain's return becoming a distraction.

``It hasn't distracted us for the past two or three weeks,'' quarterback Carson Palmer said. ``This team is completely focused on beating the Kansas City Chiefs and that's all we're going to worry about. If anybody has a problem with it I'll help guys through it, but it's no issue for us.''

Notes: Allen said there was ``a chance'' third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor will make his season debut against the Chiefs. ... DT Richard Seymour (knee, hamstring) is still limited in practice but the Raiders are hopeful he can play for the first time since Nov. 4.

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Nationals sign Jake Boone, who could be MLB's first fourth-generation player

Nationals sign Jake Boone, who could be MLB's first fourth-generation player

The first fourth-generation MLB player could make his career in Washington after Jake Boone—the son, nephew, grandson and great-grandson of former players—signed with the Nationals on Saturday as an undrafted free agent.

Boone’s father, Bret, played in the majors from 1992 to 2005. His uncle, Aaron, played from 1997 to 2009 and currently manages the New York Yankees. Bret and Aaron’s father Bob and grandfather Ray played for 18 and 12 years, respectively. Ray started the family dynasty in 1948, when he made his MLB debut as a shortstop for the Cleveland Indians.

Jake, a shortstop himself, was originally selected by the Nationals in the 38th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. He instead elected to honor his commitment to Princeton, where he played a total of 72 games and hit .250 with one home run and 24 RBIs. Bob, who is 72 years old, is a vice president of player development for the Nationals and senior advisor to GM Mike Rizzo.

With the 2020 MLB Draft being shortened to five rounds as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Jake didn’t have the chance to find out if he improved his draft stock enough to earn a higher selection. But after the rules were amended to allow for an increased number of undrafted signees, he will have the opportunity to follow in his family’s footsteps and get a Boone back on a major-league roster for the first time since Aaron retired in 2009.

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Tom Haberstroh believes Wizards' Rui Hachimura should be NBA All-Rookie First Team

Tom Haberstroh believes Wizards' Rui Hachimura should be NBA All-Rookie First Team

Rui Hachimura has had an impressive rookie season, even if there were some struggles along the way. But, was his first NBA campaign impressive enough to land an NBA All-Rookie First Team nod?

According to NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh, the answer is a clear yes.

“He does, in my book he’s first-team all-rookie," Haberstroh said Sunday on NBC Sports Washington's Wizards Pregame Live.

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Haberstroh understands that Hachimura may not get the same attention as other big-name rookies such as Zion Williamson or Ja Morant, but that shouldn't take away from his body of work. Though there were some tough showings at points during the campaign, which is to be expected, Hachimura established himself as a solid scorer. 

Yet, what is more impressive to Haberstroh than the 13.4 points per game as a rookie is how Hachimura kept that scoring total despite Washington's situation. The forward was thrown right into the middle of a young roster and asked to create shots. The analyst also noted that Hachimura started playing the sport of basketball at a much later age than other rookies and he's still competing at the same level.

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Hachimura also didn't have the luxury of John Wall, a point guard who could've helped him find more shot opportunities. For times throughout the season, he was asked to be one of "the guys" in Washington, which is no easy task for a rookie. When looking at what he did and who he did it with, Haberstroh thinks the All-Rookie honor makes sense. 

“The minutes that he played, the consistency from a scoring standpoint and the fact that he didn’t have a true playmaker to work with, John Wall out for the season," Haberstroh said. “It’s really been an impressive year for Rui Hachimura and I think he’s done a very, very good job considering the environment that seemed like guys were dropping left and right.”

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