Orioles

Monday's Sports in Brief

Monday's Sports in Brief

Seven coaches and five general managers were fired Monday in a flurry of pink slips that were delivered the day after the regular-season ended.

Andy Reid in Philadelphia, Lovie Smith in Chicago, and Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona -all coaches who took teams to the Super Bowl - Norv Turner in San Diego, Pat Shurmur in Cleveland, Romeo Crennel in Kansas City and Chan Gailey in Buffalo.

Three teams - San Diego, Cleveland, Arizona - made it a clean sweep, saying goodbye to the GM along with the coach. General managers also were fired in Jacksonville and in New York, where Rex Ryan held onto his job coaching the Jets despite a losing record.

Reid was the longest tenured of the coaches, removed after 14 seasons and a Super Bowl appearance in 2005 - a loss to New England.

Smith spent nine seasons with the Bears, leading them to the 2007 Super Bowl - a loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Turner has now been fired as a head coach by three teams. San Diego won the AFC West from 2006-09, but didn't make the postseason the last three years.

NEW YORK (AP) The Kansas City Chiefs own the No. 1 pick in next April's draft, with the rest of the order set for non-playoff teams.

Kansas City and Jacksonville finished 2-14 each, but the Chiefs had the weaker schedule, earning them the top selection.

The rest of the top 20 picks for the April 25-27 draft were announced Monday by the NFL.

Oakland is third, followed by Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, Arizona, Buffalo, the New York Jets and Tennessee.

Then come San Diego, Miami, Tampa Bay, Carolina, New Orleans, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Dallas, the New York Giants, and Chicago.

The remainder of the selections will be determined by playoff results.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - In probably his last NFL-related ruling, U.S. District Judge David Doty sided with the league this time.

The NFL Players Association's claim of collusion by league owners was rejected by Doty, who has previously sided with the players during more than two decades of judging NFL labor matters. The league lost enough key decisions under Doty's jurisdiction that it twice tried to have him removed from his role as the sport's legal referee, alleging impartiality.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - The San Francisco 49ers parted ways with running back Brandon Jacobs in an expected move after the outspoken player was suspended for the final three regular-season games.

Jacobs was suspended Dec. 10, though the team didn't explain why he was being punished. Yet it was pretty clear following a series of posts by Jacobs on social media sites in the days prior addressing his lack of playing time.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Veteran offensive lineman Ryan Lilja, who helped block for Peyton Manning during the Colts' Super Bowl-winning 2006 season, announced his retirement.

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - Hockey fans might have a reason to be a bit optimistic.

The NHL and the players' association are back on speaking terms, are trading ideas, and already have plans to get back together after the first day of face-to-face meetings in nearly three weeks.

The union responded to the NHL's most recent contract proposal with one of their own. And even before the league had a chance to review it with a fine-toothed comb, the sides decided they would meet again Tuesday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

ATLANTA (AP) - Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 14 Clemson a wild 25-24 win over No. 9 Louisiana State in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Tevin Washington ran for a 1-yard touchdown that broke a third-quarter tie, then threw a TD pass while leading Georgia Tech past Southern California for a 21-7 victory in the Sun Bowl.

VANDERBILT 38, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 24

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Jordan Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as Vanderbilt capped its best season in nearly a century by beating North Carolina State 38-24 in the Music City Bowl.

The Commodores (9-4) won their seventh straight game, their top mark since going 9-1 in 1915.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Tulsa avenged a loss to Iowa State earlier in the season by defeating the Cyclones 31-17 in the rematch at a rainy Liberty Bowl behind Alex Singleton's three touchdowns.

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Boise State has backed out on a commitment to join the Big East and will remain a member of the Mountain West in 2013 - and San Diego State could be next to reverse course.

Boise State and the Mountain West announced they had come to an agreement to keep the Broncos playing in the league they have been a part of the past two seasons.

Boise State, which left the Western Athletic Conference for the Mountain West after the 2010 season, is still on the hook to pay a $5 million exit fee to the Big East, though the school says there are ``provisions'' which could make it less. Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said the conference will help Boise State pay its exit fee.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Michael Carter-Williams picked the perfect time to get his game back on track.

Syracuse's slick-passing sophomore point guard had a career-high 18 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds to lead the seventh-ranked Orange to a 96-62 victory over Central Connecticut State.

The win gave Orange coach Jim Boeheim his 902nd career win.

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For the third straight week Duke is the runaway No. 1 in The Associated Press' Top 25, and for the first time in 16 years Minnesota is in the top 10.

The Blue Devils (12-0) received all but two first-place votes from the 65-member media panel. The next five teams - Michigan, Arizona, Louisville, Indiana and Kansas - held their places from last week. Syracuse, Ohio State, Minnesota and Gonzaga rounded out the top 10.

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Connecticut took over No. 1 in The Associated Press women's basketball poll after routing Stanford over the weekend.

Coach Geno Auriemma's team had 37 first-place votes, while second-ranked Baylor got the other three. The Huskies last held the top spot at the end of the 2010-11 season.

Duke moved up to third while Stanford, which held the top place for six weeks after beating Baylor, fell to fourth. Notre Dame was fifth

BASEBALL

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) - Former AL MVP Miguel Tejada has reached a minor league deal with the Kansas City Royals and says he is ready to return to the majors.

The 38-year-old infielder got a one-year contract that will be worth $1.1 million if he makes the big leagues. There is an additional $400,000 in performance bonuses.

TENNIS

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) - Caroline Wozniacki's first trip to the Brisbane International ended in a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) first-round loss to Kazakhstan qualifier Ksenia Pervak on Monday. She quickly followed up by dismissing speculation about an engagement to golf No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

CHENNAI, India (AP) - Sixth-seeded Robin Haase of the Netherlands and eighth-seeded Go Soeda of Japan reached the second round of the Chennai Open with straight-set victories Monday.

SHENZEN, China (AP) - Top-seeded Li Na opened her Shenzhen Open campaign with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Mandy Minella of Luxembourg.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) - Svetlana Kuznetsova lost to unseeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 7-6 (6), 6-2, 7-5 in swirling wind Monday in the first round of the ASB Tennis Classic.

DOHA, Qatar (AP) - Philipp Kohlschreiber opened his season with a 7-6 (5), 6-1 victory over Croatia's Ivan Dodig in the first round of the Qatar Open.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) - Svetlana Kuznetsova lost to unseeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 7-6 (6), 6-2, 7-5 in swirling wind Monday in the first round of the ASB Tennis Classic.

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Manny Machado pens goodbye to O's fans on Instagram

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USA Today Sports Images

Manny Machado pens goodbye to O's fans on Instagram

Days after being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deal that captivated much of Major League Baseball, former Oriole Manny Machado took to Instagram to thank the only organization he's ever known. 

The 26-year-old's contract expires at the end of this season, which the Orioles chose not to renew as the last-place club enters a rebuilding phase. 

Machado put up big numbers in the team's first 97 games totaling career-highs in home runs (24), RBIs (65), OBP (.387) and OPS (.962). 

He is expected to play shortstop for a Dodgers club which finished the first half of the season 10 games above .500 in a competitive, tight NL West. 

The Dodgers will pay Machado $6.3 million. 

To my Baltimore family, I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out how I would say goodbye but there wasn’t an easy way to do it. I first joined this organization at the age of 17 and these past eight years have far exceeded anything I ever could’ve imagined. Throughout the ups and downs, you embraced me unconditionally and you took a kid from Miami and brought me up as one of your own. I’ve enjoyed my time here and you all have played a big part in that!! Thank you Birdland! You are forever in my heart! To the Baltimore Orioles, it has truly been a blessing to put on that uniform every day. To the Angelos Family & Dan Duquette, thank you for making my dreams come true!!! To Buck and the coaching staff, thank you for your commitment and dedication to making me the best player and teammate I can possibly be…I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of you. To my teammates, we’ve shared some amazing times with lots of memories & friendships that I’ll cherish forever. Schoopy, I love you bro and I know you will carry the torch!!! ! Much love always, Manny #13

A post shared by @ machados13 on

RELATED LINKS: 

Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game 

Orioles star shortstop Manny Machado traded to Los Angeles Dodgers 

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

Redskins Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope.

Between now and the start of camp, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

Inside linebackers

Additions: Shaun Dion Hamilton (drafted in the fifth round)

Departures: Will Compton (free agent)

Starters: Zach Brown, Mason Foster

Other roster locks: Josh Harvey-Clemons

On the bubble: Hamilton, Zach Vigil, Martrell Spaight

How the inside linebackers compare

To the rest of the NFL: This is a difficult comparison to make since only about half of the teams use the 3-4 with two inside linebackers and there are many variations when they go out of their base defense. Brown certainly is in the upper tier of players at his position. Foster’s skill set may not be coveted by many teams around the league, but he is a perfect fit in the Redskins’ defense in many ways. The player who could differentiate this group from others around the league is Harvey-Clemons. If he turns into a top-notch nickel LB the inside linebackers will be a great asset. 

To the 2017 Redskins:  This is about health. In 2017, Foster missed 11 games, Brown was hampered by a variety of injuries before sitting out the last three games. Compton was the top backup to both players and he went to injured reserve after just three starts. They did re-sign Vigil, who had spent training camp with the team, and he played pretty well near the end of the season. If the front-line players can stay on the field for most of the season this should be a much better group than the one that was partially responsible for the league’s 32nd-ranked rushing defense. 

2018 Inside linebacker outlook

Biggest upside: The 2017 season was supposed to be a redshirt year for Harvey-Clemons as he transitions from college safety to NFL linebacker. He played a lot in the base defense during the offseason practices and that indicates that they are considering him for a bigger role beyond just playing nickel. You have to wonder how his size (6-4, 230) will affect his ability to get off of blocks. 

Most to prove: Spaight was a fifth-round pick in 2015 and he has yet to establish a regular role in the defense. It was telling that when they needed someone to start in the latter part of last year they brought back and started Vigil and mostly kept Spaight is going into the last year of his contract, but it would not be surprising to see Vigil beat him out for the last roster spot.  

Rookie watch: The Redskins traded up in the sixth round to get Hamilton. It wasn’t a blockbuster deal but the fact that they thought enough of him to move up says something. Gruden has said that he thinks Hamilton could be a starter at some point. He was one of the leaders on a strong Alabama defense before injuries struck. Hamilton is not going to start this year barring multiple injuries, but he should develop a role as the season goes on and be ready to compete in 2019.

Bottom line: The Redskins have not invested much in terms of free agent dollars or draft capital in the inside linebacker position in recent seasons. That changed somewhat this offseason as they made sure to spend to retain Brown and Foster. Neither commanded a huge contract but they did make a commitment and that is important. Last year Brown gave the defense a sideline-to-sideline dimension it hasn’t had in quite some time and retaining him was critical. Inside linebacker may not be a major strength for the defense this year but it should be able to get the job done. 

2018 Redskins position outlook series