Redskins

Monday's Sports In Brief

Monday's Sports In Brief

CYCLING

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Lance Armstrong ended a decade of denial by confessing to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The admission came hours after an emotional apology by Armstrong to the Livestrong charity he founded and turned into a global institution on the strength of his celebrity as a cancer survivor.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the interview is to be broadcast Thursday on Winfrey's network. She tweeted afterward, ``Just wrapped with (at)lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours. He came READY!'' She was to appear on ``CBS This Morning'' on Tuesday to discuss the interview.

The confession was a stunning reversal for Armstrong after years of public statements, interviews and court battles in which he denied doping and zealously protected his reputation.

NFL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit when he shot his girlfriend nine times and then killed himself in front of his coach and general manager, an autopsy showed.

The Jackson County Medical Examiner report on Belcher, 25, raised new questions about whether police should have done more before the Dec. 1 murder-suicide. Officers found Belcher sleeping in his idling car about five hours earlier, but let him go inside a nearby apartment to sleep it off.

At the time of the autopsy, Belcher's BAC was 0.17, more than twice the limit of 0.08 percent for Missouri drivers, and it was likely higher when he shot girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, 22, at the couple's Kansas City home. A police report released previously said Belcher had gone out the night before with a woman he was dating on the side while Perkins attended a concert with her friends.

BASEBALL

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Oakland manager Bob Melvin got a two-year contract extension that takes him through the 2016 season after he led the A's to a surprising AL West title last year.

Oakland became the first team in major league history to win a division or pennant after trailing by five games with less than 10 to play, sweeping three games against Texas to win the division.

The A's lost to Detroit in the deciding game of its best-of-five AL division series. Oakland ended a five-year stretch without a winning record or playoff berth, finishing 94-68 with a majors-best 14 walkoff wins by a young team and rotation of rookies.

Melvin was voted AL Manager of the Year. The 51-year-old took over from the fired Bob Geren in June 2011. Melvin led the Diamondbacks to the NL West title in 2007 and also won 93 games in his rookie season with Seattle in 2003.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kevin O'Neill was fired as Southern California's basketball coach after 3 1/2 years during which he failed to turn around a program weighed down by NCAA issues that preceded his arrival and a string of player injuries.

O'Neill had a 48-65 record, including 7-10 this season after going 6-26 last year, setting a school record for losses.

Veteran assistant Bob Cantu will serve as interim coach while USC searches for a successor.

Cantu took over for O'Neill during a Pac-10 tournament semifinal game against Arizona in 2010-11 when the coach was suspended after getting into a confrontation with a Wildcats booster. He has remained on the staff through four coaching changes and is the Pac-12's longest tenured assistant.

Athletic director Pat Haden said it was evident to him that the program needed new leadership.

GOLF

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are on the same team now - at least when it comes to sponsorship.

McIlroy officially made the switch to the swoosh as Nike confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in golf, announcing it had signed a multi-year deal with the top-ranked Northern Irishman.

The deal means Nike now has golf's two biggest names representing its brand, as Woods has been with the sportswear company since turning pro in 1996. Nike did not disclose any financial details of the deal, but industry observers have estimated that McIlroy will be paid up to $20 million a year to use the company's equipment and apparel.

McIlroy said he was ``really excited'' to start the season and insisted he has made a ``seamless'' adjustment to his new equipment, especially his driver.

SOCCER

LONDON (AP) - FIFA President Sepp Blatter has raised fresh doubts about the safety of playing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during the summer.

There have been growing calls to move the tournament to the winter to avoid the sweltering desert heat that is expected to exceed 104 degrees in June and July.

Blatter says players and fans will be fine in the air-conditioned stadiums. But he adds that the World Cup is also an event outside the stadiums, ``so it is a question mark.''

In an interview with Sky Sports News, Blatter addressed other matters. He reiterated his belief in deducting points from teams in cases of racial abuse, and he confirmed that in 2015 he'll be leaving his job as head of soccer's governing body.

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Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

Derrius Guice out for Week 15 vs. Eagles as he awaits MRI results

The injuries just keep coming for Derrius Guice.

The second-year running back will miss the Redskins Week 15 contest against Philadelphia after suffering a left knee injury against Green Bay, interim head coach Bill Callahan announced on Monday. The injury is on the same knee that Guice tore his ACL in just a year ago that caused him to miss the entire 2018 season.

The severity of the injury is still unclear. Guice underwent an MRI on his knee earlier on Monday. The team is still waiting for the results.

Guice missed eight weeks earlier this season after tearing the meniscus in his right knee during the Redskins Week 1 loss in Philadelphia. He was placed on injured reserve and returned in Week 11.

Entering Sunday's contest, Guice was coming off the best game of his young career. In Week 13, the second-year veteran ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries in the Redskins' victory over Carolina.

Guice seemed on his way to another big game in Green Bay before getting hurt. He finished with 42 yards on just five carries, including a 23-yard run, the play he suffered the injury on.

The LSU product has shown flashes of how good he can be, but injuries keep occurring for Guice. He's played in five NFL games in his two-year career and been forced to leave the game early in three of those.

Whether the injuries are just a series of bad luck or not, the Redskins need Guice to stay healthy.

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    Davey Martinez is unfazed by entering the third - and perhaps final - year of his contract

    Davey Martinez is unfazed by entering the third - and perhaps final - year of his contract

    SAN DIEGO -- Davey Martinez has been busy. His rural retreat, usually well-used by this stage of the offseason, has sat empty. He spent time with his kids in Tampa in between declining appearance requests. He tried to get his life back in order for the last five weeks. Time to himself has not been part of the process. Nor has anything but positive feelings.

    “It’s been awesome,” Martinez said. “Really has. Something that I wake up in the morning and think about everything that transpired and how we got to where we got to and the final moment... That, to me, never gets old.”

    Relaxed in a dress shirt and sport coat, Martinez started Monday with interviews by the reporters pool at the Winter Meetings. Two of his former players -- Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon -- are among the prime focuses of the event. Future contracts are what the meetings become about. Martinez is now included in that topic.

    He’s entering the third, and final, year of his three-year deal. The Nationals hold an option for a fourth year. Martinez said he is not thinking about it.

    “No,” Martinez said. “I really haven’t. For me, I feel blessed I got an opportunity to do what I do. I know I’m coming back. Now, I’m just getting some time off and getting ready for spring training.”

    Martinez entering his third year is notable. Managers of the Nationals rarely make it there. Manny Acta started a third season as manager. Davey Johnson handled two-plus seasons as manager. No one has made it through three full seasons since baseball returned to the District. And, who would have thought Martinez would?

    Year One was a mess. The Nationals missed the playoffs, Martinez appeared off-kilter at times, and injuries doomed the season as much as under-performance. A mere 82 wins followed, the fewest since 2011. 

    The pressure was high before the failed season. Washington’s ownership chose Martinez specifically over bringing back Dusty Baker. Why? Because advancing to the first round was not enough. Only the World Series was acceptable. Martinez, with vast major-league life experience and zero managerial experience, was charged with guiding the team to a spot its owners and payroll expected. The team barely won more than it lost.

    Then May of 2019 hit. The 19-31 nadir following multiple embarrassments in New York, against the Mets of all teams, pushed Martinez’s employment status toward the edge. He said then it wasn’t on his mind, though at the time he was unsure how to fix expansive bullpen problems. Managing principal owner Mark Lerner said during the postseason he never considered firing Martinez. Both are difficult to believe as 100% truths. 

    As the team turned, so did the view of Martinez. The postseason performed as a breakthrough for both. Washington finally made it out of the first round of the postseason. Martinez’s decision-making worked and worked again, all the way through Game 7 of the World Series. By the end, narratives flipped. The team which couldn’t play well when it mattered most completed a comeback-filled championship run. The manager so many wanted to push out, became a man of the people, drifting into the streets during the championship parade.

    Another year is coming. Davey Martinez remains the manager of the Washington Nationals. He’s into his third year and, barring disaster, appears set to make it to the end, which would be more history for the organization.

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