Redskins

NFL and players' union donating $1 million

NFL and players' union donating $1 million

NEW YORK (AP) The NFL and the players' union are combining to donate $1 million to the American Red Cross to help in the recovery efforts in the Northeast after Hurricane Sandy.

Also, the league and its network broadcasters will run TV pregame and in-game messages to promote donations during this weekend's games, beginning with Thursday night's game on NFL Network between Kansas City and San Diego.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith announced the donations Thursday.

``This contribution on behalf of all 32 clubs and players throughout the league will help the American Red Cross assist people in need in the affected areas,'' Goodell said. ``We salute the dedication of those who have been working so hard on the rescue, relief and recovery effort.''

The NBA and its players' union followed suit with a similar donation to the Red Cross and other organizations, including The Salvation Army, New York Cares and Jersey Cares, that have mobilized to assist the people and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. And the NBA's broadcast partners will air messages to encourage fans to support relief efforts by the Red Cross.

``Many homes and lives were devastated by Hurricane Sandy and our thoughts, abiding concerns and hopes are with all those affected,'' said NBA Commissioner David Stern.

``The immeasurable damage and heartbreaking impact of this latest natural disaster continues to shock all of us,'' added NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter.

Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson donated $100,000 to the Red Cross on Thursday, and the Orlando Magic donated $25,000.

New York Road Runners will donate $1 million, or $26.20 for every runner in the 2012 New York City Marathon, which is Sunday.

In creating the Race to Recover Fund, the NYRR will support a number of charities involved in the relief efforts, including the Mayor's Fund and the American Red Cross.

``New York Road Runners' thoughts and prayers go out to all of those impacted by the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy,'' said Mary Wittenberg, chief executive officer of NYRR. ``On Sunday, as runners cross through the five boroughs we want them to bring with them a sense of hope and resilience. The marathon is not just a race, it's about helping NYC find its way down the road to recovery.''

Jack and Susan Rudin and the Rudin Family Foundations also announced a donation of $1.1 million and race title sponsor ING announced a $500,000 donation.

On Wednesday, the New York Yankees gave $500,000 to relief efforts through the Red Cross.

``The damage and destruction to the tri-state area caused by Hurricane Sandy is daunting, but we have seen the great resiliency of this region before,'' Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. ``As a neighbor and community member, the Yankees embrace our role of stepping forward and assisting the American Red Cross, which comes to the aid of so many people through their tireless efforts.''

The Seattle Seahawks and the MLS Sounders said Red Cross volunteers will be at CenturyLink Field this weekend collecting cash donations to help in storm relief. The Sounders play Friday night and the Seahawks on Sunday.

Fans attending Friday night's game in Oklahoma City between the Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers can bid on Thunder autographed items, including a team-signed ball. A portion of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross for disaster relief.

Through the A's fund, Oakland's baseball team will be accepting monetary donations to help support those affected by Hurricane Sandy along the Eastern seaboard. And the Community Fund will be sending proceeds to the Salvation Army, which is serving those impacted by the storm with mobile feeding units, shelters and clean-up kits.

The A's Fund will also be sending proceeds to the Humane Society of the United States, which will help animal rescue teams in their relief and rescue efforts, in addition to providing supplies to animal shelters.

After the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011, Hideki Matsui and the A's raised more than $50,000 to help with relief efforts. Matsui separately donated $620,000.

Taking advantage of the NHL lockout, some former players, current coaches and broadcasters for the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues will play a game Nov. 10 in Franklin, Tenn., to benefit both Hurricane Sandy relief and the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University. They plan to play approximately an hour for a suggested donation of $5.

Former players include J.P. Dumont, Stu Grimson, Dan Keczmer, Darren Pang, Tyson Nash, Bob Plager, and Kelly Chase along with Predators assistant coach Lane Lambert.

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www.redcross.org

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Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

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USA Today Sports

Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

Yahoo! Sports ranked all 32 head coaches in the NFL and Washington Redskins fans may not be too happy with where Jay Gruden ended up.

Entering his fifth year as head coach, Gruden was ranked as the No. 27 head coach in the NFL. Here's Yahoo!'s rationale behind his ranking:

"Four years, one playoff berth, one plus-.500 season, one franchise quarterback run out of town."

All that is ... not false, but the whole franchise quarterback being run out of town thing is at least debatable. And even if the ranking is fair, it's still okay to be upset because it's the middle of July, training camp hasn't started yet and the offseason is the perfect time to get irrationally angry about things like these.

Elsewhere in the NFC, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur checks in at No. 23, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is No. 17 and the Eagles' Doug Pederson is No. 2.

Unsurprisingly, Bill Belichick was ranked No. 1; he may be the greatest of all time when all is said and done, if not already. The top five rounds out with Pederson at No. 2, New Orleans's Sean Payton at No. 3, Minnesota's Mike Zimmer at No. 4 and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin at No. 5.

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Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

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USA Today Sports

Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

TORONTO (AP) -- Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman gave up hits to the first three Baltimore batters Saturday.

The Orioles got just two more hits the rest of the afternoon.

Stroman pitched seven sharp innings for his second win in three starts and Toronto beat Baltimore 4-1 for its sixth straight victory over the struggling Orioles.

"He started working both sides of the plate with his sinker and I think that threw them off a little bit, especially late in counts," Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile said. "Overall it was just kind of vintage Stroman."

Baltimore right-hander Alex Cobb picked up his major league-worst 13th loss. The Orioles dropped to 1-8 against Toronto this season.

"I absolutely hate seeing that win-loss in parentheses next to my name," Cobb said. "It's sickening."

Stroman (3-7) allowed one run and five hits. He threw a season-high 107 pitches, the first time this season he has topped 100.

Stroman is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts since returning from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss more than a month. He went 0-5 in seven starts before the injury.

"Since he's come back from the DL he's been really good," manager John Gibbons said. "I just think he's pitching like he's always pitched."

Stroman said he's focused on forgetting his early season struggles.

"I know I didn't have the first half I wanted but I've always been someone who prides myself on the second half and finishing strong," Stroman said. "That's something I'll look to continue to do this year."

Friend and teammate Devon Travis likes what he's seen from Stroman since the right-hander returned from injury.

"He's got that fire back," Travis said. "He's really under control. I think he's locking in on every single pitch."

Seunghwan Oh worked the eighth and Ryan Tepera finished for his seventh save in 12 opportunities.

Baltimore scored one run or fewer for the 27th time, the most in the majors.

The first three Orioles batters all singled, although Jonathan Schoop was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. After Adam Jones gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead with an RBI hit to right, Mark Trumbo grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The Blue Jays answered with a three-run fourth against Cobb, taking advantage of a key Orioles error.

Justin Smoak opened the inning with a walk and, following a video review, was ruled safe at second after Cobb's high throw pulled shortstop Tim Beckham off the base on at attempted force play.

"That's not it in a nutshell but I can understand why that's the focus, a play we haven't been making," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Randal Grichuk followed with an RBI double, a second run scored on Diaz's double play grounder, and Maile capped the rally with an RBI single.

Diaz had four hits Friday, including the game-winning single in the 10th. He went 2 for 3 Saturday with a pair of singles.

The Blue Jays made it 4-1 in the fifth when Teoscar Hernandez doubled, advanced on a fly ball and scored on Cobb's balk.

Cobb (2-13) lost his sixth straight decision, allowing four runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings. Showalter said Cobb was removed to avoid worsening a blister on his pitching hand.

"I was only going to have a few more pitches going into the sixth so he felt like the risk-reward was not really worth it," Cobb said.

Grichuk made the defensive play of the game, a running catch on the warning track in left center to retire Trumbo for the first out of the ninth.

GOING DOWN?

Jones and Chris Davis got stuck in an elevator at the team's downtown hotel following Friday night's defeat. Jones documented much of the saga on Instagram. The players and fellow passengers were eventually rescued by Toronto Fire Services staff. The sound system at Rogers Centre played a few bars of Aerosmith's `Love in an Elevator' before Jones batted in the fourth inning Saturday.

NO HOMERS

Toronto won without hitting a home run for just the third time in 26 games this season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Baltimore is expected to demote a reliever when RHP Andrew Cashner (neck) is activated off the 10-day disabled list Sunday.

UP NEXT

Cashner (2-9, 4.56) last pitched July 10, when he allowed five runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings against the Yankees. Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (10-6, 4.29) is 0-3 with a 9.75 ERA in three July starts.