Broncos players visit victims in Aurora, Col.

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Broncos players visit victims in Aurora, Col.

From Comcast SportsNet
AURORA, Colo. (AP) -- A half dozen Denver Broncos visited with survivors of the Colorado theater shooting on Sunday to try to lift their spirits. The group visited with five patients at the Medical Center of Aurora and also met with the emergency room staff that provided the initial treatment Friday morning for many of the shooting victims of the massacre at a suburban Denver movie theater that left 12 dead, 58 injured and a nation in sorrow. "What we were trying to do was go in there, show support and try to put a smile on these peoples' faces. But the thing is, they put a smile on our faces," linebacker Joe Mays said. "They had such positive attitudes. They knew they were blessed to live and they knew they were going to have another chance to walk about with their families." Mays was joined by linemen Ryan Clady, Chris Kuper and Ben Garland, receiver Eric Decker, tight end Jacob Tamme and former teammate Brian Dawkins, who retired earlier this year. The players gave up their last Sunday before training camp to lend a measure of comfort to the community. "We felt this was the least we could do to help them get through this tragic event," Mays said. "We came out of there with just a different mindset on life as well. They were still able to smile and laugh and have people in their corner and by their side. Just to see that couldn't help but smile a smile on our faces and make us think about our lives and being with our families." Among the patients who received visits from the Broncos was Carey Rottman, 27, a native of Mequon, Wis., who used to play football at Winona State in Minnesota, where he was a running back and faced Kuper's North Dakota teams. Garland, a Colorado native who attended the Air Force Academy and whose family lost their home in the recent wildfires in the state, tweeted over the weekend that he had planned to attend the new Batman movie at the Century 16 theater where the shooting occurred "but changed my mind" shortly before the midnight premiere. Quarterback Peyton Manning on Sunday also called four patients who were taken to the Medical Center of Aurora after the shooter unleashed two canisters of gas and opened fire during the Friday midnight premiere of "Dark Knight Rises." The four-time MVP signed with the Broncos this year after missing the 2011 season with a nerve problem in his neck that weakened his throwing arm. The Broncos start training camp on Wednesday.

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Worley denied game ball after first save

Worley denied game ball after first save

BALTIMORE—Vance Worley filled out another line in his statistical record on Tuesday night. Worley pitched the final three innings of the Orioles’ 8-1 win to record his first career save. 

Like Ubaldo Jimenez on Aug. 7, who also picked up his first save, Worley didn’t know he had done that.

“No. I was just worried about making pitches and getting it over as quick as I could,” Worley said.

“It felt good. The first inning was a little rough, but after that I settled down and made some pitches and closed it out.”

Worley is an extremely versatile pitcher. He’s started four times, and now he’s gotten a save.

“It’s just another thing that I can say that I’ve done. This year, I’ve done every role now, now that I have a save. Excited to have it under my belt and just being able to contribute,” Worley said. 

“I just wait on that call. I’m pretty much ready from the first pitch of the game. I know that at some point of that game, I could get a call whether it’s early, middle of the game, end of the game. It depends on the score, how our other pitchers are doing, do they need a blow? I’m the guy they call on.”

Worley learned he had gotten the save after Clint Robinson flied to Nolan Reimold in left to end the game.

“I heard the announcer say that I got my first major league save, so that was cool. I then asked Nolan for the ball, and he says: ‘I threw it in the stands.’ I didn’t want that ball anyway,” Worley joked.

MORE ORIOLES: SHOWALTER SAYS JIMENEZ IS ORIOLES' BEST OPTION TO START

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Olympian Katie Ledecky visits Nats Park, players enthralled with medals

Olympian Katie Ledecky visits Nats Park, players enthralled with medals

Watch Ledecky throw out the first pitch in the video player above, which will begin momentarily.

Before Wednesday's game between the Nats and Orioles, as players, fans and media anticipated the arrival of U.S. Olympic swimming legend - and Bethesda, Md.-native - Katie Ledecky, one National remarked how Ledecky is the 'Bryce Harper of swimming.'

Yeah, in Harper's dreams.

The five-time Olympic gold medalist has accomplished far more in her sport than Harper, or any other Nationals player for that matter, has in theirs. So, in a funny bit to go along with her first pitch, she had Harper escort her to the mound. Ledecky then took off each medal, one-by-one, and handed them to Harper. She then threw a perfect strike to reliever Shawn Kelley.

Yes, it appears there is nothing Ledecky can't do these days. The 19-year-old is now just soaking it all in as she takes just a few weeks off before she begins her preparation for the next Olympics, in Tokyo, Japan in 2020.

"This will probably be the longest break I take in the next four years. It's just nice to be out of the water and recharge," she said.

Ledecky said Harper is one of her favorite players. She spoke with him and his teammates, as well as manager Dusty Baker in the team's clubhouse. A Nationals fan, Ledecky enjoyed seeing them as much as they liked seeing her.

"It was cool. They all wanted to see how heavy [my medals] are and things like that. They are pretty heavy. It was kind of a different feeling for me to have them be a fan of me when I've been a huge fan of theirs for a couple years. I know the Nats played part of my race [on the scoreboard] and that meant a lot to me. To have that support means so much," she said.

Ledecky has some rare free time now and was able to get some practice in before throwing her first pitch.

"I have two neighbors that play baseball and they always get excited when I throw a first pitch, so they always wanted to go down to the park and throw with me. So, I practiced a little bit," she said.

It's still a busy time for Ledecky, who is off to Stanford to begin college later this month. All the while, she's still processing all that she accomplished in Rio.

"Slowly, but surely. I expect it will sink in as we move forward in the next few weeks, once I get back in the pool and start working towards my next goals. You just have to kind of put everything you've done behind you and start working towards the next thing," she said.

[RELATED: Nats fall on wrong side of three challenges by Orioles]

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Showalter says Jimenez is Orioles' best option to start

Showalter says Jimenez is Orioles' best option to start

WASHINGTON—Ubaldo Jimenez is Buck Showalter’s choice to start Thursday, and he’s not backing down from it. 

“He’s actually probably the most equipped. He’s pitched well here and against these guys, and two-fold, we’ve looked at our options and [he’s] the one most worthy of getting the opportunity,” Showalter said. 

“Actually, [it] makes our bullpen work a little bit better too the other four days. He’s a guy who is physically better suited to pitch, to start.” 

Vance Worley threw three innings on Tuesday night, and that eliminated him. 
“Here’s the part of that. If he doesn’t pitch that game last night, probably Zach [Britton] or [Brad] Brach or [Mychal] Givens or all three of them would have been in that ballgame. In order for us to be good tonight and the next night, we need somebody to do that job,” Showalter said, adding: “It’s not a given that Vance would do well as a starter.”

Jimenez has pitched well, and in 2010 had even a better year than Chris Tillman is having now.  

“Ubaldo’s got that type of pedigree. He’s pitched well in this situation before. He pitched well in Minnesota that day, all things considered. It’s going to be tough on him because he hasn’t started in a while, but he’s built up and he’s the most experienced option we have. I’m not going to get into critiquing what our other options are. I do know one thing. Everybody’s getting blocked and claimed this time of year. We think Ubaldo is our best option right now,” Showalter said. 

Showalter thinks that Wright will do better in this stint with the Orioles because he won’t be starting—for now.

“It’s a different role than he had before because he provided length and could fit the role that we needed because Parker [Bridwell] hadn’t pitched back-to-back much, so we have to be careful there. Parker comes in and pitches, two, three innings tonight we’d probably get somebody to replace him because we’re not going to go without arms to protect everybody. We’ll see when the smoke clears today what we’re going to do tomorrow,” Showalter said. 

Showalter said that T.J. McFarland, who’s currently rehabbing with Bowie was discussed as an option for the role Wright is going to fill, and could be added if Bridwell is swapped out. He did say that ideally, he’d prefer McFarland get one or two more outings before he’s brought back.

NOTES: Joey Rickard, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a thumb injury, will be reexamined on Sept. 2. … Brian Duensing (elbow) threw seven pitches in the Gulf Coast League in his first rehab appearance.  … LHP Ashur Tolliver (hamstring) is throwing batting practice for Norfolk. 

MORE ORIOLES: AFTER TWO STRAIGHT WINS AT HOME, ORIOLES GO TO DC