Nationals

San Jose St faces Bowling Green in Military Bowl

San Jose St faces Bowling Green in Military Bowl

WASHINGTON (AP) Maybe they should call it the Transition Bowl.

For the third consecutive year - which accounts for 60 percent of the lifespan of this particular event - the Military Bowl had coaching news between the selection date and the game.

Ralph Friedgen was fired by Maryland in 2010, but he was allowed to coach the game and ended his Terrapins career with a big win over East Carolina.

Last year, Tim Beckman left Toledo for Illinois, leaving replacement Matt Campbell to lead a one-point victory over Air Force.

This year, it's even more complicated.

Having rebuilt San Jose State (10-2), Mike MacIntyre left for Colorado after the Spartans accepted the bid that will have them facing Bowling Green (8-4) on Thursday at RFK Stadium. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer was selected as the interim coach for the game and wanted the job full-time, but he wasn't even granted an interview.

Instead, San Diego's Ron Caragher was hired, and Baer is going to follow MacIntyre to Colorado.

So, talk about awkward: Caragher has already started to set up shop with the Spartans during Baer's final days at the school. Caragher watched practices back in California last week and traveled with the team to the nation's capital as an observer.

``In some ways, it can be very confusing,'' said Baer, who also had an interim bowl gig with Notre Dame in 2004. ``Sometimes it's confusing to me, to be honest with you. But once we get out to practice and we're handling our business in meetings, it's this group of coaches and this group of players that's been here all year. That's how we're handling it. It's going to be his football team after this, but not 'til.''

The shake-up has jarred the players just as they were hoping to put an exclamation point on perhaps the best season in school history. The No. 24 Spartans are playing in a bowl for the first time since 2006, are in the AP rankings for the first time since 1975, and will be trying to win 11 games in a season for the first time since 1940.

That's quite a feat considering that San Jose State was 1-12 just two years ago during MacIntyre's first season. Baer has been around longer, having joined the Spartans staff in 2008.

``I've been here with a group of young men, a couple of coaches, that have seen some really tough times and seen this thing turn around,'' Baer said. ``Really the goal is - I don't know if it's a parting gift to the university or the kids, or just saying, `Look, we've been in this together. Let's finish this together. This is still the 2012 football team. This is the last time we'll be together.' We're very focused on trying to be the best team ever in San Jose State history. I'm not doing it for anybody but this group of men and coaches.''

Bowling Green has a different kind of mission in mind. The Falcons also rebuilt their program in a hurry - rebounding from 2-10 two years ago - and are one of seven Mid-American Conference teams in the bowls.

Yet the MAC is off to a rough start: 0-2 so far, both blowouts.

``We'd like to finish with a statement in the bowl games,'' coach Dave Clawson said. ``It's going to be a challenge. I think we're underdogs in every one of the seven games, but I think that's a little bit of the nature of the MAC, that we're always fighting uphill. This year we had a very good year in the field and we'd love nothing more than to finish with a pretty strong performance in the bowl season.

``But, at the end of the day, Bowling Green only has control over one of those games, and all we can control is how we play in the Military Bowl.''

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

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National League All-Star Game Roster Projection: How it will all break down

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USA Today Sports

National League All-Star Game Roster Projection: How it will all break down

In less than a month, the 2018 MLB All-Star game will take place at Nationals Park.

There are plenty of details that still need ironing out, but none are more important than the 64 players that will be taking the field at the Midsummer Classic.

Surely the Washington Nationals are hoping that many of their hometown stars will make the cut.

So, lets clear the air. How are the MLB All-Star rosters created? Well it is a combination of the fan vote, the player ballots, and the MLB Commissioners Office. No, it is not a 33-33-33 split, but rather a political (yet fair) process. Here is how it shakes out for there to be 32 players on each team:

  • Fan vote: eight position players in NL/ nine in AL (DH); plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 16 players in NL; 17 players in AL (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players) and five AL players (four pitchers, one position player)

Keep in mind, the MLB Commissioner’s Office merely is just there to ensure that there is one representative from all 30 MLB teams. Additionally, the player’s ballots are generally in-line with statistics and name recognition.

So let’s see how this shakes out for the National League All-Star Game roster. This factors in the latest fan vote returns:

National League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Buster Posey, Giants (Fan Vote), Wilson Contreras, Cubs (Player Ballot)
1B – Freddie Freeman, Braves (Fan Vote), Jose Martinez, Cardinals (Player Ballot), Justin Bour, Marlins (Commissioner’s Office)
2B – Ozzie Albies, Braves (Fan Vote), Scooter Gennett, Reds (Player Ballot)
3B – Nolan Arenado, Rockies (Fan Vote), Kris Bryant, Cubs (Player Ballot)
SS – Brandon Crawford, Giants (Fan Vote), Chris Taylor, Dodgers (Player Ballot)
OF – Nick Markakis, Braves (Fan Vote), Bryce Harper, Nationals (Fan Vote), Matt Kemp (Fan Vote), Albert Almora Jr., Cubs (Player Ballot), Charlie Blackmon, Rockies (Player Ballot), Corey Dickerson, Pirates (Player Ballot), David Peralta, Diamondbacks (Commissioner’s Office), Christian Yelich (Commissioner’s Office)

SP – Max Scherzer, Nationals (Player Ballot), Sean Newcomb, Braves (Player Ballot), Jon Lester, Cubs (Player Ballot), Aaron Nola, Phillies (Player Ballot), Jacob deGrom, Mets (Player Ballot), Mike Foltynewicz, Braves (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Brad Hand, Padres (Player Ballot), Sean Doolittle, Nationals (Player Ballot), Josh Hader Brewers (Player Ballot), Wade Davis, Rockies (Commissioner’s Office), Kenley Jansen (Commissioner’s Office), Jeremy Jeffress (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Dave Roberts, Dodgers

After this, there will be one more player chosen by another fan vote. The MLB Commissioner’s Office, along with the manager, choses five players to be selected in the penultimate vote. 

This puts three Nationals on the All-Star team with the Braves leading the charge with five selections.

Now of course nothing ever goes to plan, but heck its baseball, not everyone will be happy.

MORE NATS NEWS:

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Suddenly the Caps are in need of a head coach

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Suddenly the Caps are in need of a head coach

Less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup, the Caps are in need of a new head coach.

Barry Trotz resigned as the Caps coach on Monday after he and the team failed to reach an agreement on a new contract. How did we get here and where do both parties go from here? JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break it all down.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.