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Trufant brothers taking over CenturyLink Field

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Trufant brothers taking over CenturyLink Field

SEATTLE (AP) Marcus Trufant has played in a Super Bowl and a Pro Bowl, and is now in his 10th season with his hometown team.

Yet for all those experiences, one of the most special moments in his football career with the Seattle Seahawks will come this weekend when he takes the field against his younger brother Isaiah of the New York Jets, and after youngest brother Desmond, a senior at Washington, plays on the same field the night before.

Three brothers, all playing the same position, two of which are already in the NFL with a third very likely to join the professional ranks next season.

And this weekend, all three will take their places on the turf at CenturyLink Field in a span of less than 24 hours. On Saturday night, Desmond will play the final home game of his college career when the Huskies host Utah. About 14 hours after the youngest Trufant walks off the field, Isaiah's Jets will face Marcus' Seahawks.

There is no guarantee any of the three will be playing in the NFL next season. Desmond will likely be an upper-round draft pick when April comes around, but Marcus and Isaiah both have contracts that expire at the end of the 2012 season.

So while this weekend doesn't feature all three in the same game, being on the same field just a few hours apart will be cherished by the entire Trufant clan, especially their parents Lloyd and Constance. The half-Marcus, half-Isaiah jerseys have already been made for Sunday, but only after everyone breaks out their No. 6 Washington jerseys for Desmond on Saturday night.

``It'll be a big day for us,'' Desmond said. ``(I'm) proud of my brothers, what they're doing and we've got to keep it going as a family, keep producing, keep doing good things.''

In many ways, the Trufant name is near the top of the football hierarchy in Washington state. All three were prep stars in nearby Tacoma, all three were standouts at state universities and all three beam with pride about their roots.

They have touched every level of football in the state of Washington. The three were prep standouts at Wilson High School in Tacoma. Marcus was a star at Washington State, Isaiah at Eastern Washington and Desmond now at Washington.

Marcus has spent his entire NFL career with Seattle. Isaiah started his pro career playing indoor football in Spokane before being the UFL defensive player of the year in 2010 with Las Vegas that helped earn his chance in the NFL, making up for being the shortest of the trio at just 5-foot-8.

``Growing up, he was the guy I always looked up to and wanted to be like,'' Isaiah said. ``Before any professional athlete, it was always big bro trying to do what he does and trying to be like him. Even though I was a smaller guy, I would strive to be successful like he was. I'm just grateful to be able to play against him on a professional level.''

Marcus was the prototype for the family. Lean and quick, with the size at nearly 6-foot tall and ability to be physical at the line. He was an all-everything in college at Washington State and is now going on a decade as part of the Seahawks secondary.

Desmond is Marcus 2.0. The same height. The same build. But perhaps with more natural talent and knack for the position than his oldest brother.

In the middle is Isaiah, who fit none of the molds typically cast for NFL cornerbacks and doesn't have the college pedigree of his brothers, yet has found a niche after working his way up through the lowest levels of pro football to get his shot in the NFL. His brothers say Isaiah is the best athlete of the three, yet took the longest road to finally reach the NFL.

Three brothers, one swath of turf, one memorable weekend for the Trufant family.

``It's just a blessing for us all to be playing football at a high level and doing what we grew up loving to do and doing what we wanted to do as adults,'' Isaiah said. ``Little bro, Lord willing, he's well on his way to doing what he loves to do also at a professional level.''

Desmond has improved this season and so have the prospects for where he could be drafted next April. Most draft pundits have Desmond listed among the top 10 cornerbacks available in next year's draft and a likely second-round pick. And that might come after being an all-Pac-12 selection.

After playing in 13 games last year, Isaiah is on pace to see the most action of his NFL career this season. He even made the first start of his career on Oct. 21 against pass-happy New England.

Marcus nearly saw his career in his home state end when he was released last March, but he re-signed with the Seahawks a month later after briefly considering a move to Denver. Ultimately the chance to continue his career without leaving home won out.

``It starts with the family,'' Marcus said. ``You have to have pride in the family name, the way we carry ourselves and the way we handle business on the field.''

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AP Sports Writer Dennis Waszak, Jr., in Florham Park, N.J., contributed to this report.

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Cubs drop protest, but not stance about Sean Doolittle's delivery

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Cubs drop protest, but not stance about Sean Doolittle's delivery

WASHINGTON -- Sunday afternoon’s discussions still revolved around Saturday night’s close, which Washington manager Davey Martinez referred to as a “fiasco” on Sunday.

Chicago manager Joe Maddon started a chaotic situation when he popped out of the dugout following Sean Doolittle’s first pitch in the ninth inning Saturday. Maddon contended Doolittle’s “toe-tap” was an illegal delivery, akin to when Chicago reliever Carl Edwards Jr. tried to add a pause in spring training, but was told the move was illegal.

The umpires told him, and Doolittle, the delivery was legal. Chicago filed a protest with the league. After consulting with Major League Baseball and MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer, Joe Torre, the Cubs dropped their protest Sunday morning.

A point of differentiation is whether the pitcher is taking a second step. Umpires previously determined Edwards was taking a second step. They determined Doolittle was not. This is a judgment call for the umpires and is not reviewable.

Official Baseball Rule 5.07(a) states in part: “The pitcher may not take a second step toward home plate with either foot or otherwise reset his pivot foot in his delivery of the pitch. If there is a runner, or runners, on base it is a balk under Rule 6.02(a); if the bases are unoccupied it is an illegal pitch under Rule 6.02(b).”

The league, according to Maddon, said there is a difference between Edwards placing his full foot on the ground and Doolittle grazing the mound with a cleat when he delivered. Maddon continued to not agree with the interpretation.

“We went through the whole process,” Maddon said. “Our guys in the office spoke to MLB and I talked to Mr. Torre. The whole thing I wanted to really get done was protect Carl. I really didn’t anticipate a whole lot to be done with it. Even though I still don’t agree with the conclusion, because I think it’s exactly what Carl did, only a different version of it. But the point was, I would not be a good parent if I had not spoken up for my guy. And that’s what I was doing last night and, again, it’s just to eliminate any gray area there just for future because it’s going to happen again down the road somewhere and you’re just trying to delineate what is right and what is wrong. In my mind, it wasn’t a judgment call, I thought it was black-and-white. It wasn’t gray.”

Maddon said multiple times that Doolittle tapped with his toe in addition to grazing the mound, both of which, he contended, were not legal or different than Edwards' attempt at deception.

The congenial Doolittle was steamed postgame Saturday and remained irritated Sunday. Saturday, he took multiple shots at Maddon during his postgame commentary. He also taunted the idea when throwing warmup pitches while Maddon argued with umpires by making exaggerated kicks with his leg and multiple stops with his foot. Doolittle switched to a delivery without any stops -- one he often uses -- after the protest as a way to show Maddon he didn’t need the tweak to be successful.

“In that moment, he's not trying to do anything other than rattle me and it was kind of tired,” Doolittle said Saturday. “I don't know. Sometimes he has to remind people how smart he is and how much he pays attention to the game and stuff like that. He put his stamp on it for sure.

"I actually have to thank him. After they came out the second, the [Kyle] Schwarber at-bat, I threw two fastballs and a slider and a fastball to [Kris] Bryant and those were probably the best ones I've thrown in a while. I don't do the tap when there's somebody on base so I can keep my pickoff move available if I need it. I've had a lot of traffic recently, so I've had practice doing it, so it wasn't like a huge adjustment to me. I don't know. In a way, I kind of need to thank him."

Asked Sunday if Doolittle’s comments were relayed to him, Maddon smiled and said yes.

“Listen, I have no issue with that whatsoever,” Maddon said. “We’re all emotional. I’ve said a lot of things I didn’t want to say years ago -- even in this ballpark. I think if he understood the entire context, he might have had a different opinion. Even if he was the manager himself -- if he was me -- or if he was being protected by his manager under similar circumstances, I think his stance may be different.”

No one -- the league, Maddon or Doolittle -- changed their perspective a day later.

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NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues shutout Sharks 5-0 to win Game 5

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NHL Playoff 2019 Roundup: Blues shutout Sharks 5-0 to win Game 5

The St. Louis Blues won a decisive Game 5 against the San Jose Sharks 5-0, pushing the Sharks to the brink of elimination.

The Blues are now one win away from their first Stanley Cup Final since the 1969-70 season, where they lost to the Boston Bruins in a sweep.

St. Louis started the scoring early when Oskar Sundqvist netted his second goal of the series in the first five minutes of the game. 

Jaden Schwartz then tallied his first goal of the game off a juicy rebound in front of Martin Jones to start the scoring in the second period. It was Schwartz's 10th goal of the playoffs, which tied him for third all-time in Blues history for goals in the postseason.

Vladimir Tarasenko added to the Blues lead off a penalty shot. He's the first player in Blues franchise history to score a penalty shot goal in the playoffs.

Schwartz then added two more goals in the third period for a hat-trick. The first came on a 5-on-3 power play advantage off a scramble in front of the net, and the second came from a backdoor one-timer pass from Tarasenko.

Schwartz now has 12 goals these playoffs, and it's his second hat-trick of the playoffs.

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington recorded 21 saves for a shutout, and he's the first rookie goalie to accomplish that feat for the Blues.

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