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Report: Heat forward LeBron James to opt out of deal, become free agent 24 Jun 2014, 4:04 pm

Get ready for the Decision, Part II. LeBron James is opting out of his contract with the Heat, and will become a free agent.

Uruguay eliminates Italy; Did Suarez bite again? 24 Jun 2014, 3:44 pm

Uruguay is moving on. Italy is out of the World Cup after a 1-0 loss. Meanwhile, Luis Suarez apparently bit an opponent again.

O's Davis walks off White Sox with pinch-hit HR 24 Jun 2014, 5:56 am

Chris Davis had been scuffling, and with lefty Chris Sale on the mound, it was a perfect night for the Orioles first baseman to ride the pine. He didn’t get the entire night off, however. Manager Buck Showalter called his number in the bottom of the ninth, and Davis delivered a walk-off three-run homer.

Report: Bulls offer Gibson, Snell, picks for Love 24 Jun 2014, 1:04 am

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12/18/2014 12:22 AM
Michael Kohn predicted he'd play for the Braves at age 10

As children, we're often encouraged to dream big and work hard to make those big dreams come true. Of course, as life goes along, sometimes those dreams change or life leads us in a new direction. but for Michael Kohn, a native of Charleston, SC and a lifelong Braves fan, his path has taken him right where he always wanted to be.

We have proof of that too, because MLB.com's Mark Bowman posted a mission statement on Twitter that the now 28-year-old reliever wrote as a contract to his parents when he was only 10. 

As presented, the message reads:

The life I imagine.
I Michael Thomas Kohn will make pro baseball for the Altanta (sic) Braves and make all my goal. Shortstop. Bat third.

(Getty Images)Kohn has a real shot to see that dream through, though it won't be exactly as he envisioned. He won't be playing shortstop. Barring a mid-game double switch, batting third is out of the question as well. But the most important thing is there's no guarantee he ever wears the Braves uniform in a meaningful game at all. He was inked to a minor league deal, meaning he'll have to show well enough to knock another name off Atlanta's 40-man roster.  

Still, he's plenty motivated coming off a four-year stint with the Los Angeles Angels. In 126 games, he posted a 3.67 ERA over 110.1 innings, and even notched a pair of saves. Overall though he wasn't thrust into too many critical situations, which is something he'll aim to change in Atlanta. 

As Bowman writes, there's another interesting twist to this story that led Kohn to slightly altering his mission statement as a teenager.  

A few years later, Kohn got Derek Jeter's book "The Life You Imagine" and quickly grew excited about the fact that he shares the same birth date as the former Yankees shortstop. When he learned that Jeter had also written a contract to his parents, Kohn found his contract and topped it with the title of this book.

"The day after I got the book, I think I went to school the next day and told everybody, 'Me and Derek Jeter are shortstops and we were born on June 26 and I'm going to bat third in front of Chipper Jones."

It's amazing the number of different ways Derek Jeter has been able to connect with the next generation of ballplayers. Through his play or through his words, he's been a go-to guy for players seeking that extra bit of motivation. If we're smart, we'll make sure that trend continues for generations to come.

BLS H/N: Cut 4

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

12/17/2014 05:49 PM
Chicago Bears bench Jay Cutler for Jimmy Clausen

The Chicago Bears made a heck of a statement this offseason. They gave quarterback Jay Cutler a $126 million contract.

The team was telling everyone that even though Cutler was a mediocre quarterback for eight years, the ninth would be different. He would be paid like he was on the same level as the game's best quarterbacks. And now, 14 games later, they’re benching Cutler for Jimmy Clausen.

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ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reported the news. It’s a stunning move by a team that is falling apart at the seams through constant backbiting, both public and private. The Bears have lost three in a row, there are reports that coach Marc Trestman will be fired, and now the team is starting Clausen (three touchdowns, nine interceptions in his NFL career) over the man they paid like one of the best quarterbacks in football less than a year ago.

Mistakes? Oh, there have been a few.

In fact, this benching might be a mistake. Cutler isn't a great quarterback, with just one Pro Bowl and one playoff appearance in nine seasons and never a quarterback rating higher than 90 in a season (for comparison, much maligned Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has never posted a rating below 90 in a full season). But Cutler's better than Clausen. The move seems to serve no real purpose. Is this a last, final statement by a lame duck head coach, scapegoating the quarterback for the offense's struggles? Is it a desperate move by a coach trying to save his job? Or did the staff become so fed up with Cutler's reckless play that they figured anyone would be better?

Remember that while offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer was probably wrong to be the anonymous source on an NFL Network story ripping Cutler, nothing that he said was really wrong. Cutler has 28 touchdowns, but he also has 18 interceptions, and constantly throwing deep into double coverage doesn't help the offense. Maybe the Bears will try to trade him this offseason, and nobody should trade for a quarterback whose contract far exceeds his accomplishments, but NFL general managers and coaches who are desperate to save their jobs don't always think logically.

Who knows for sure why Trestman is making this move from Cutler to Clausen, but the truth is this: The Bears have an incredibly expensive backup quarterback.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

 

 

 

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12/18/2014 12:35 AM
Brandon Jennings passed up an easy lay-up to miss a jumper

Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings has never been known as a guy who picks his spots. From his first games as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2009, Jennings has stood out as someone who would not avoid taking a shot just because it wasn't sensible. In fact, he often seems to seek out the most difficult ones.

Yet none of that history could have prepared us for a choice Jennings made in the third quarter of Wednesday's game between the Pistons and visiting Dallas Mavericks. With the defense caught ball-watching, Jennings made a very nice cut towards the basket from the weak side. Caron Butler found him with a pass for what seemed like an easy lay-up ... except Jennings decided that wasn't tough enough and dribbled out for a fallaway jumper:

The official play-by-play lists this miss as a 20-footer, which seems both factually wrong and spiritually accurate. If a very long two is the least efficient shot a player can take, then a mid-range jumper taken in lieu of a very easy lay-up is definitely a 20-footer.

The game as a whole wasn't so great for Jennings either — he finished 5-of-14 for 13 points in Detroit's 117-106 loss. Chandler Parsons paced Dallas with 32 points on 10-of-17 shooting.

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Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

12/17/2014 11:50 PM
NHL Three Stars: Anderson, Lehtonen, Svedberg make goalie union proud

No. 1 Star: Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

Anderson posted his third shutout of the year and 29th of his career during a 2-0 win over the New Jersey Devils. He turned aside 34 shots to earn his second win in three starts. Kyle Turris scored early in the first period and put the game away with an empty-netter with one second left in the game. Anderson almost got in on the scoring himself with attempt at the empty net late in the game:

No. 2 Star: Kari Lehtonen, Dallas Stars

The Stars opened up a three-game western Canada road trip with a 2-0 shutout of the Vancouver Canucks. Colton Sceviour opened the scoring early in the second period and then Antoine Roussel turned off the lights with an empty-netter late in the third period. Lehtonen made 27 saves and recorded his second shutout of the season and 29th of his career.

No. 3 Star: Niklas Svedberg, Boston Bruins

Loui Eriksson’s goal 1:30 into overtime helped the Boston Bruins beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 and earn their first win in four games. Svedberg was excellent between the pipes, stopping 35 shots for his second win in three starts.  

Honorable Mention: According to the AP, Eriksson now has 29 points in 31 career games against the Wild … Via the NHL, only Alex Ovechkin (10) and Steven Stamkos (8) have more overtime goals since 2008-09 than Eriksson (7).

Did You Know? 

Dishonorable Mention: New Jersey has dropped five in a row … The Devils failed on all five power play opportunities … Will Brett Sutter be hearing from the Department of Player Safety after this hit on Craig Cunningham?

Finally, via CJZero, this is not how you Dougie (Hamilton):

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Enjoy a Motor Race Properly
(SportNewsConnection.com)

It is undeniable that we all get excited to attend any sports event. But it is also true that a proper knowledge of the game makes it even more interesting. Motor races are not any exception. You can get the most of it only when you know what is happening. So check out for some proper strategies.

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12/18/2014 06:38 AM
Listen: Bo Pelini's talk with his players on December 2

You can now listen to the (NSFW) remarks that Bo Pelini made to his players on the night of December 2.

Thanks to the Omaha World-Herald, which broke the news of Pelini's comments toward Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst in the meeting, you can in the player above.

Throughout his comments, Pelini called Eichorst names and said he was expecting his fate as Nebraska (former) coach. However, if you were expecting an unhinged Pelini similar to what you see sometimes on the sidelines during Nebraska games, you're going to be surprised. Throughout the 30 minutes, Pelini is composed, though his passion comes through. He also offers to take questions from his players, though he clearly had a lot of things to say.

While it's clear that the relationship between Pelini and Nebraska administration had soured to the point of no repair, he also serves as a good reminder to always know the ramifications of your decisions if you choose to nuke the bridges you've built after your tenure with an employer has ended.

For more Nebraska news, visit HuskerOnline.com.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

 

 

 

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