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Redskins to address 'horrible' playing surface

Redskins to address 'horrible' playing surface

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Pete Carroll says the ``field'' in FedEx Field is ``horrible.''

Mike Shanahan doesn't go that far, but he agrees the grass isn't always greener at the Washington Redskins stadium.

The playing surface was a mess when Seattle Seahawks beat the Redskins on Sunday in the NFC wild card playoffs. There were plenty of bare sports, and dirt was flying with many of the steps taken between the hash marks. Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III and Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons left the game with knee injuries.

``It was horrible,'' Seahawks coach Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle. ``It's a horrible field. It's as bad as a field can get for being dry. It's too bad. It really is. It's too bad. We deserve better. ... It just was worn out. There was a lot of slipping and all that kind of stuff. It's relative. It didn't change the game at all in my opinion because it's relative to both sides. We should just expect to see a better field at that time of year.''

The field has looked scraggly for much of a season that was front-loaded with extra events, including college football games and a Kenny Chesney concert.

``You'd like a perfect field, and it wasn't a perfect field, we all know that,'' Redskins coach Shanahan said.

Shanahan said putting down a new sod in midseason might not have worked. He said he's seen new sods in San Francisco and Denver that didn't work out.

``If you do sod right, at lot of times it's good,'' Shanahan said. ``I really thought the field was OK because I didn't see people slipping during the game. ... Therefore I don't think there's an advantage one way or a disadvantage one way.''

NFL rules say the home team must certify prior to each game that the playing field meets certain conditions. There is a list of requirements, including an ``Impact Hardness Test.''

Carroll was more diplomatic when he met with reporters later Monday. He said there was a ``lot of loose footing'' in the game, but he said he didn't know if it contributed to Clemons' injury.

``It's cool to have the different stadiums have their own uniqueness about it,'' Carroll said. ``But there is a point where I think it makes sense that it should be somewhat standardized that it should be equal for everyone, and obviously safety is at the top of everyone's mind in the league.''

Shanahan said he'd be open to the idea of an artificial surface, but that he likes natural grass.

``We have that here, but for some reason here it's just not working as well,'' he said. ``Anyway, we'll try to address that for next year.''

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AP Sports Writer Tim Booth in Renton, Wash., contributed to this story.

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Follow Joseph White on Twitter:http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

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Emma Meesseman posts an incredibly efficient game in the Euroleague, scoring 20 points in 21 minutes

Emma Meesseman posts an incredibly efficient game in the Euroleague, scoring 20 points in 21 minutes

Emma Meesseman is a walking bucket. She proved it in the WNBA Finals and is continuing to score in bunches in the EuroLeague. 

Playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg, Meesseman went off again. Shooting an incredible 9-for-11 from the field (82%), she posted 20 points in 21 minutes during their win over ZVVZ USK Praha.

Just take a glimpse of Meesseman's highlights from that game. She got her shot to go from every corner of the court. 

The win moved UMMC Ekaterinburg (10-1) to the top of Pool A of the EuroLeague and Meesseman has been a huge part of it. Throughout the season, she's averaged 15 points, shooting 67% from the field and 64% from 3-point range. 

Meesseman just recently won the WNBA Finals MVP award for the Washington Mystics last season. In the WNBA Finals, she posted nearly 18 points a game coming off the bench to lead the team. 

Other WNBA stars Courtney Vandersloot, Brittney Griner and Jonquel Jones also play with Meesseman on the same team. 

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Davey Martinez on electronic sign stealing: 'This just didn't happen overnight'

Davey Martinez on electronic sign stealing: 'This just didn't happen overnight'

When the Nationals faced the Houston Astros last World Series, they took extra precautions to ensure their opponents couldn’t steal their signs even if they were using illegal means to do it.

Less than two weeks later, news broke that the Astros were being investigated by MLB for using electronic devices to steal signs during the 2017 season—a season in which they went on to win their first World Series in franchise history.

The investigation, which concluded last week and resulted in severe penalties for the Astros and the firings of both manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow, didn’t find any evidence that Houston used such means against Washington.

But that didn’t stop Nationals pitching coach Paul Menhart from taking precautions, instructing each of his pitchers to have their own sets of signs and laminating cards for them to keep in their caps. Washington also reportedly used some nontraditional signs that were harder to decipher even with the help of technology.

Speaking with MLB Network Radio’s Chuck Todd, Nationals manager Davey Martinez admitted that he’s fine with sign stealing being a part of the game. It’s once outside devices get involved where he thinks teams begin to cross a line.

The league has “been doing this for years,” Martinez said. “A guy on second base steals signs. They try to relay it to the hitters. They’re looking for an edge. You’re at first base and you’re taking a lead and then you’re picking up the signs of the catcher ’cause you want to steal the base and you’re hoping that you could see a breaking ball—whatever. I get it.

“For me, I blame—if that’s happening—I blame us for not controlling that…the things that are controllable, we should be able to control. The other things that we can’t see—I think that’s the issue.”

The game of stealing signs is as old as the sport itself. While some critics have said it hurts the integrity of the game, the implementation of cameras and electronic devices gives one side a much more significant advantage than the level playing ground that teams have operated on for decades.

“This goes back a while,” Martinez said. “I remember in 2017 [when I was with the Chicago Cubs], we were in the playoffs and got a memo about Fitbit watches and all that stuff and not being able to wear them—”

“So people were worried about this for a while?” Todd asked.

“Yeah. I mean, this just didn’t happen overnight. There are rules and the game has changed. There’s so many different wats now that you can do things. But you’ve gotta understand there are rules and that’s the bottom line.”

The Nationals and Astros will continue to be intertwined, not only as reigning pennant winners but as co-hosts of their Spring Training Facility in West Palm Beach as well. While Martinez wasn’t willing to comment on the findings of the investigation into the Astros, he left a frank assessment for whether Houston should’ve expected such significant penalties.

“MLB has made it known that they were going to intervene if they thought there was any foul play, and they did,” Martinez said.

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