Wizards

Tuesday's Sports In Brief

Tuesday's Sports In Brief

BASKETBALL

MIAMI (AP) LeBron James' foul-free streak ended in a game against Oklahoma City.

The Miami Heat forward was called for a foul against the Thunder's Serge Ibaka with 7:57 left in the first quarter of the teams' NBA Finals rematch, marking the first time since Dec. 8 that James was whistled for a personal.

James went 254 minutes, 7 seconds of on-court time without being called for any fouls, though he was assessed one technical during that span for arguing a play where he thought he was fouled. He was called for backing into New Orleans' Lance Thomas with 2:30 left in the first quarter on Dec. 8.

His first foul against Oklahoma City came when he tried to block a dunk attempt by Ibaka.

BASEBALL

HOUSTON (AP) - Brad Corbett, who owned the Texas Rangers from 1974 to 1980 and wasn't afraid to regularly switch out managers, died on Christmas Eve. He was 75.

Corbett's daughter, Pamela Corbett Murrin, told The Associated Press that her father died peacefully in his sleep on Monday. She said he had not been sick recently.

Under Corbett, the team had six managers in six years - four in the 1977 season alone. The Rangers' website said the team had its first four winning seasons under Corbett and finished second in the AL West three times. The 94 wins in 1977 remained the most in team history until 1999.

Corbett traded away three future Hall of Fame pitchers - Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry and Bert Blyleven - during his tenure.

DULUTH, Ga. (AP) - Former Atlanta Braves star center fielder Andruw Jones was free on bond after being arrested in suburban Atlanta on a battery charge, according to jail records.

Around 1:30 a.m. Christmas morning, police responded to a call for a domestic dispute between Jones and his wife in Duluth.

Gwinnett County Detention Center records say Jones was booked into the jail around 3:45 a.m. and had been released on $2,400 bond by 11 a.m.

Once one of the premier players in the big leagues, Jones broke into the majors with the Atlanta Braves in 1996 and won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1998-07. He has 434 career home runs over the span of 17 seasons in the majors.

Jones earlier this month signed a $3.5 million, one-year deal with Japan's Tohoku Rakuten.

TENNIS

MADRID (AP) - Rafael Nadal's return to competition has been delayed by a stomach virus.

The Spaniard was scheduled to play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Thursday after missing seven months because of tendinitis in his left knee. But he said on his Facebook page that his doctors ordered him to pull out when he was running a fever, telling him his body needed rest.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played since June, when he lost to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon.

The injury prevented Nadal from defending his Olympic singles gold in London, where he was supposed to be Spain's flag bearer at the opening ceremony. He also had to pull out of the U.S. Open and Spain's Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, which his teammates lost without him.

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Bradley Beal was the first guard cut from the All-NBA teams

Bradley Beal was the first guard cut from the All-NBA teams

Bradley Beal missed out on an All-NBA selection, and therefore, qualification for a supermax contract. Voting tallies show he received the most votes among guards that missed the cut. 

That's small consolation for the only player to average 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists this year, but still not make the All-NBA team. 

Here's a look at just how close Beal came to Kemba Walker, the last guard to sneak in. 

Walker (51 points) beat out Beal (34 points) more narrowly than at any other position. Klay Thompson received 27 points. 

It's rare air to be ranked so closely with guards like Walker and three-time champion Thompson.

Still, that hardly makes up for the earning potential the Wizards star missed out on this summer.

Damian Lillard, who was drafted in the same year as Beal, made second team All-NBA and qualified for a $191 million supermax contract from the Trail Blazers. 

That's a big-money difference for a very close voting tally.

On the flip side, that could mean the Wizards can afford to hang onto Beal. They would have had a difficult time offering him a supermax contract given their current salary cap situation. 

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If the Nationals’ season isn’t over, it’s close

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If the Nationals’ season isn’t over, it’s close

NEW YORK -- Dealing with tomorrow has often become the only palatable way for the Nationals to forget yesterday.

They lose in eye-gouging fashion, roll in the next day to reset, and, at least in New York, find a topper. That formula has them on a train home from what could have been a series for re-emergence, but instead placed them in a worse place than they started. Washington is 19-31 following a sweep in Flushing. It would have to go 71-41 (a .634 winning percentage) to reach 90 wins. If it’s not already, the season is on the verge of being over.

A slog-filled drive from midtown to Queens delivered the tired team back to its baseball quarters Thursday morning. Sean Doolittle changed then pulled his red hood up, sitting at his locker 10 hours after he stated he was “disgusted” with himself for Wednesday’s crash. Such a devastating night has been common for the 2019 Nationals. It was not for Doolittle. He hit a batter for the first time since May 29, 2018. He allowed four earned runs in an outing for the fifth time in 348 career appearances (1.4 percent of the time he pitches). In keeping with the season, the worst-possible outcome arrived at the worst-possible time, then another terrible one followed.

Martinez remained upbeat, sipping a morning drink concoction common in his native Puerto Rico. He rewatched Wednesday's game -- a masochist’s errand this season -- as he regularly does, went to sleep around 2 a.m., awoke at 7, arrived at Citi Field around 9:45. The leash on his future has been shortened greatly by the four failing days in New York.  

The Nationals wandered out for stretch and light throwing in front of an oddball scene. Thursday was “Weather Day” at Citi Field with the Big Apple-famous Mr. G hosting in his Mets jersey. Mr. G  -- known to his friends as Irv Gikofsy, New York City’s most popular weatherman -- kicked up a “Let’s go Mets!” chant down the third base line while the Nationals relievers ran routes and caught a foam football to get loose in the same part of the park. The recently re-emerged Mrs. Met, who popped back up in 2013 after decades of dormancy, used her giant noggin to nod along.

The game was another compilation of missed opportunities, bullpen disasters and bad luck. Washington left eight runners on base through the first six innings alone. The Mets’ path to runs was aided by slop and basics. Carlos Gomez single in the fifth. He ran to steal second, Yan Gomes’ throw went into center field, Gomez went on to third base. A sacrifice fly scored him.

J.D. Davis singled in the sixth. Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch. Stephen Strasburg’s wild pitch moved them both over. Another sacrifice fly scored one, a Wilson Ramos infield single scored the other. The Mets led, 3-1.

The Nationals didn’t score with runners on first and third and one out in the first. They did not score after Juan Soto’s leadoff triple in the second inning. They did not score after a one-out double in the third. They did not score with runners on second and third and one out in the fourth. They did not score with a runner on second and one out in the fifth. This is not hyperbole for effect. It’s facts. Sigh-worthy ones.

The only effective offseason signings are Kurt Suzuki and Patrick Corbin. The others have not just resided below expectations, they have been among the worst in the league at their position.

Gomes, acquired in a trade, leads the league in passed balls. He’s committed three errors in his 29 starts. Coming into Thursday, he had a 65 OPS-plus (100 is average).

Brian Dozier started the afternoon with a 73 OPS-plus and -0.5 WAR. Those two numbers would be worse if not for a recent uptick both in the field and plate from him.

And, the most egregious failure of the offseason has been Trevor Rosenthal’s saga. Martinez was asked directly Wednesday if Rosenthal simply has the “yips”. He said they still believe Rosenthal’s problems are mechanics, not thoughts, despite him throwing baseballs to the backstop in central Pennsylvania. The luxury-tax averse Nationals are paying him $6 million to do so.

Finally, Thursday was enough for Martinez to shed his tranquility. After Howie Kendrick was ejected in the top of the eighth, Martinez ran to home plate to start an argument of his own. He half-circled home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman, yelled, pointed and carried on in a manner that begged Dreckman to throw him out. He did. Martinez went from rankled to furious. He spiked his hat, kicked the dirt, and yelled some more. The event provided his third career ejection and looked to be among the final moves of a manager on the verge of returning to private life.

A strange thing followed: his team rallied for three runs to take a 4-3 lead. No matter. There’s no goodness Washington’s bullpen can’t undermine. Wander Suero gave up a three-run homer in the eighth to Gomez. New day, different reliever, same ear-bleeding outcome.

Which again made talking about tomorrow the only way to deal with the grotesqueness of today. Trouble now is tomorrow may not matter any more.

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