Adam Wainwright expects contract talks with Cardinals during spring training

Adam Wainwright expects contract talks with Cardinals during spring training

Adam Wainwright is heading into the final year of his contract and after bouncing back well from Tommy John elbow surgery he’s in line for a huge long-term deal at age 31. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that “both sides have expressed an interest in discussing an extension” and Wainwright’s agent…

Tom Wilson fined, but not suspended, for hit on Conor Sheary


Tom Wilson fined, but not suspended, for hit on Conor Sheary

Capitals right wing Tom Wilson has been fined, but not suspended for his knee-on-knee hit on Penguins left wing Conor Sheary in the third period of the Caps’ 4-3 overtime victory Thursday night at Verizon Center.

Wilson was fined $2,403.67 for the hit, the maximum allowable under the CBA.

“I looked at it today,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “Sheary gives a little shimmy and it was really a shin on shin. We leave everything to the league. You’ve got to respect what they do with the Department of Player Safety. It’s not the easiest job, I know that.

“I thought (the hit) was OK, but it wasn’t really necessary probably.” 

Penguins right wing and former Capitals teammate Eric Fehr was the recipient of one of Wilson’s six hits in Game 1 and acknowledged his knee-on-knee hit on Sheary was a topic of conversation in the Penguins dressing room. Sheary missed a few shifts but returned to finish the game.

“We’re not going to get into any detail about it,” Fehr said Friday following an optional skate at Kettler. “We’ve just got to play hockey. We’re trying to score goals and make plays and if he’s going to come take runs at us we’ve just got to move pucks by him and try to create odd-man rushes. That’s the best way to make him pay for that.”

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan seemed unfazed by the news that Wilson had been fined and not suspended. 

“We’re just going to play,” he said. “The league’s going to do what they do. We’re going to do what we do. We’re gonna play and the refs are going to call the game the way they see it and we’re just going to focus on playing hockey.”    

Wilson, 22, delivered six hits in Game 1 and now has 29 hits in seven playoff games, second on the Caps behind Alex Ovechkin’s 35. He also had some animated conversations with the Penguins bench. Trotz said he was actually complimented by the referees in Round 1 for the growth in Wilson’s game.

“Tom is a young player who’s evolved as not only a physical force, but a good penalty killer,” Trotz said. “He’s grown his game. His first mentality as a young guy was to run you right through the boards. I think we’ve refined his game. We don’t want him to hit (from behind) on the numbers and we don’t want him to hit on the head, but clean physical hits are OK.”

Showalters announce plans for October KidsPeace race


Showalters announce plans for October KidsPeace race

BALTIMORE—Six months from today, Buck and Angela Showalter will host their 7th annual KidsPeace 5K Trick-or-Trot at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

KidsPeace benefits foster parenting, and it’s a cause the Showalters feel deeply about. 

Angela Showalter speaks fondly about her upbringing with two parents and an extended family, and notes that the children she and her husband are trying to help, are lacking the basics. 

“These children don’t even have a parent. They don’t even have the village to get started in,” she said at a luncheon to announce the race on Friday. 

“It’s so amazing how the one little bit of attention they feel like they’re getting from the race carries so much weight with them.”

Foster children often move, and don’t have a firm foundation.

“They often leave a parent who is probably very dysfunctional,” Angela Showalter said. “They have things that are being ripped away from them constantly.” 

Buck Showalter has become very active with KidsPeace and told a story of one of his staff members, who adopted a child who had behavioral issues. 

“He was talking about the impact of KidsPeace the other day, and that he wished his daughter had had that help when she was at that age when she wasn’t adoptable,” Showalter said. 

The registration fee is $30 between now and May 20. For more information, visit 


Open court: Do any Celtics free agents fit Wizards?


Open court: Do any Celtics free agents fit Wizards?

The Boston Celtics, the Wizards' most difficult opponent, are out of the playoffs and their season is over after losing 4-2 to the No. 4 seed Atlanta Hawks. They'll have draft picks and plenty of money under the salary cap to make a run at a max player.

It's going to be difficult for anyone to want to leave coach Brad Stevens who has a knack for making average players look better than they've ever looked in the NBA. But the cap is growing from $70 million to about $93 million so that's a lot of enticement.

The Wizards's goals are to get younger, more explosive and identify a few two-way players in the process to improve their 21st scoring defense. Adding players indiscriminately isn't an option because of the salary cap. The big fish (meaning, big-name free agents) will get signed first. Assuming the Wizards land one, even if it's not named Kevin Durant, they'll construct the roster with the remaining money with as many as eight other spots open. More than likely they'll retain 2-4 of their own free agents which will cut that number of open slots from 5-7.

They'll need a solid backup for Marcin Gortat at center, a true scorer behind Bradley Beal and a backup point guard for John Wall.

These are Boston's free agents, in order of best fit:

Evan Turner: The second overall pick in the 2010 draft, after Wall, Turner has become a valuable commodity because of his ability to score and playmake. He can start (think of Beal's health issues) and is accustomed to coming off the bench and is an ideal sixth man. He averaged 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists. Turner isn't a three-point shooter (24%) but overall shoots (45.6%). He's solid inside the arc. Turner is an unrestricted free agent and will be in demand by a lot of teams desperate for his skill set that'll drive up his pricetag. He's going to cost well above the $3.3 million he was paid this season.

Jonas Jerebko: The Celtics can decline his option by July 3 and make him an unrestricted free agent. By chance he hits the market, the career backup 6-10 forward can be a valuable stretch option off the bench for Markieff Morris. Jerebko's numbers this season were modest, 4.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 15 minutes per game, but he shot 40% from three-point range. He's got experience but is relatively young at 29. Big men who can open the floor have value and the good thing should Jerebko come avaliable is he'd be affordable. Made $5 million this season.

Tyler Zeller: The 7-foot backup center is restricted, so the Celtics can match an offer to keep him. Zeller averaged 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds in 60 appearances. No bad for a guy who played 11.8 minutes a game (Zeller averaged 10.2 and 5.7 on a playoff team last season when he started 59 games). Could he start for Gortat in a pinch? Yes. Zeller is 26 and has four years of experience. And he's coming off a deal that paid him $1.9 million so he's definitely affordable. 

Amir Johnson: This one is tricky because Johnson was supposed to be Boston's big free-agent get when they lured him from the Toronto Raptors on a two-year deal at $12 million per. Johnson averaged just 7.3 points and 6.4 rebounds in 76 starts. That's hardly an even swap but the Celtics could refuse to pick up his option for next season and allow him to become a free agent. In his last three NBA seasons, Johnson has been a starter but would be a backup for Morris but still would demand a salary that's probably too high for a backup. Johnson has 10 years experience but is just 28. He has developed three-point range, though he went from 41.3% last year with Toronto to 23.3% in Boston.

Jared Sullinger: The 6-9 center/forward is difficult to figure. His conditioning leaves much to be desired but he has a skill set that's unique for such a wide body. He averaged 10.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists as Sullinger missed just one game and started a career-high 73. Like Zeller, he's coming off his rookie scale deal and is restricted. Sullinger can hit the occassional three-pointer though he's never been above 30%. If he develops more range, his future is that of a stretch four. Sullinger is not a shot-blocker or a great inside player because he doesn't have the athleticism needed. If he ever commits to an offseason program and gets into serious shape, his ceiling will rise significantly as will his salary from the $1.6 million he made this season. Because of the ifs, he's the highest risk most on this list.