Delmon Young was suspended for seven days


Delmon Young was suspended for seven days

From Comcast SportsNet
DETROIT (AP) -- Delmon Young was suspended by Major League Baseball on Monday for seven days without pay following his arrest on a hate crime harassment charge last week in New York. The commissioner's office said the suspension is retroactive to Friday, when Young was arrested after a late-night tussle at his hotel during which police say he yelled anti-Semitic epithets. "Those associated with our game should meet the responsibilities and standards that stem from our game's stature as a social institution," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "An incident like this cannot and will not be tolerated. I understand that Mr. Young is regretful, and it is my expectation that he will learn from this unfortunate episode." The statement from the commissioner's office also said that Young would be required to participate in a treatment program. Young is eligible for reinstatement from the restricted list May 4. The suspension will cost Young approximately 257,240 of his 6,725,000 salary. Speaking before the Tigers game against the Kansas City Royals was postponed by rain, Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said Young will not appeal the ruling and that he will not face additional discipline by the team when he comes off the restricted list Friday. "Under the (collective bargaining agreement), there's no dual discipline," he said. "He'll be activated and ready to play on Friday. If he's not in the lineup, that will be the manager's decision. He's been working out over the weekend, and took batting practice today, so he'll be physically ready on Friday." Around 2:30 a.m. Friday, Young was standing outside the team hotel in New York. Nearby, a group of about four Chicago tourists staying at the hotel were approached by a panhandler wearing a yarmulke and a Star of David around his neck, according to police. Afterward, as the group walked up to the hotel doors, Young started yelling anti-Semitic epithets, police said. It was not clear whom Young was yelling at, but he got into a scuffle with the Chicago group, and a 32-year-old man was tackled and sustained scratches to his elbows, according to police and the criminal complaint. Both Young and the group went inside the hotel, and at some point, police were called, and Young was arrested, police said. Young was first taken to a hospital because he was believed to be intoxicated, police said. Young apologized to his teammates and fans in a statement before being arraigned hours after his arrest. Dombrowski did not know any of the details of the treatment program. It is not known if Young would undergo sensitivity training, treatment for alcohol and anger issues or some combination. "We have not been told those details, and we might never know all of them," he said. "When Miguel (Cabrera) was in a similar program last spring, I never saw the entire treatment program. The team is just told what they need to know to facilitate the player's work in the program." Young is hitting .242 in 18 games, batting fifth in the order behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. He has one homer and five RBIs.

Dusty Baker on Harvey ducking Mets media: 'New York will eat you up'


Dusty Baker on Harvey ducking Mets media: 'New York will eat you up'

Mets pitcher Matt Harvey made headlines on Tuesday night as much for avoiding the media after the game as he did for yet another awful outing on the mound. He left the stadium before reporters entered the clubhouse and let his teammates answer all the questions for him.

As expected, Harvey has been villified by New York media members. New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro, for one, went after Harvey in a piece entitled 'Silent Matt Harvey confirms he's the phony Mets have enabled.' It's brutal and Harvey shouldn't be surprised.

That's New York and, some would argue, it comes with the territory. Nationals manager Dusty Baker knows how rough New York can be and on Wednesday he talked about the dysfunction that is plaguing the rival Mets at the moment.

"I'm not going to try to straighten their clubhouse out. It's his prerogative to do what he wants to do. If he doesn't want to talk, then he doesn't have to talk. It will just make it harder on himself. New York will eat you up," Baker said. 

"They know their sports heroes in that town better than anybody... these people in New York, they know. They know sports. They know it big-time. I tell my guys. I'm not going to tell you what to do, but you're going to have to own up to it and live with whatever you do. Try not to put pressure on your teammates to answer your questions."

Whether a player talks after a tough loss always brings a mixed reaction. The media tends to harp on it, while some fans do not care. Some do, of course. But many don't.

Ultimately fans care about the performance on the field and right now Harvey isn't holding up that end of the bargain.

Harper out of lineup as Nats aim for series win over Mets


Harper out of lineup as Nats aim for series win over Mets

Nats (28-18) vs. Mets (26-19) at Nationals Park

The Nationals continue their series against the Mets on Wednesday with a quick turnaround from Tuesday night's win. It's a 1:05 p.m. first pitch with Tanner Roark (3-3, 2.89) set to square off against lefty Steven Matz (6-1, 2.81).

Roark has yet to face the Mets this season, while Matz has never pitched against the Nats. Matz has gone at least six innings in six straight starts with just six earned runs allowed during that span.

Bryce Harper and Ben Revere are getting the day off for Washington. Harper is getting a day to clear his head, while Revere is resting in the middle of 16 straight games as the Nats keep his oblique in mind following his disabled list stint.

First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: 106.7 The Fan, XM 183
Starting pitchers: Nats - Tanner Roark vs. Mets - Steven Matz


CF Michael Taylor
LF Jayson Werth
2B Daniel Murphy
1B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Anthony Rendon
C Wilson Ramos
RF Chris Heisey
SS Danny Espinosa
RHP Tanner Roark


RF Curtis Granderson
3B David Wright
LF Michael Conforto
CF Yoenis Cespedes
2B Neil Walker
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
1B Eric Campbell
C T.J. Rivera
LHP Steven Matz

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Rest of NBA should forget about pitching to Kevin Durant


Rest of NBA should forget about pitching to Kevin Durant

It's probably time for everyone -- not just the Wizards -- to move on to Plan B for this summer. More than 20 teams will have salary cap room and Kevin Durant's name has come up as a target for the N.Y. Knicks, L.A. Lakers, Houston Rockets and Miami Heat.

His Oklahoma City Thunder, who upset the second-best team in the NBA in the previous round by wiping the floor with the 67-win San Antonio Spurs, are about to eliminate the 73-win Golden State Warriors to get back to the Finals.

With Durant becoming a free agent this summer, exactly what motivation would he have for leaving now other than a distaste for living in Oklahoma City? Besides, if he signs a shorter deal (two years with an opt out for 2017), he can make more money because the salary cap rises from $92 million next season to about $108 million for 2017-18. And with 10 years vested by then, he gets a higher percentage of the cap of 35% rather than 30%.

And then he can make his final decision concurrent with his star teammates, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka who become free agents in 2017, too.


The Thunder, a team known for lacking poise down the stretch even under first-year coach Billy Donovan, have the NBA stunned. They've flipped the script on a team that was being compared favorably to the 72-win Chicago Bulls under Michael Jordan.

Now the Thunder might warrant such comparisons with how they're dominating the NBA playoffs. It's not clear why it took so long for them to figure it out but they have -- finally. My observations:

  • Switching. It isn't a sign of weakness. Doing it successfully in today's game is a sign of strength and a team with athleticism, length and good defensive instincts can neutralize small ball lineups. Durant, noted as just a scorer and a great one at that, is showing multiple efforts, finally putting his 7-5 wingspan to use. Donovan has his team switching everything to cover the shooters for Golden State, taking away three-point looks and layups at the rim. In one fascinating sequence in Game 4, Durant defended Steph Curry up high and tipped a pass to the wing. Curry moved off the ball and ran him through a screen, so Durant switched onto Shaun Livingston. Westbrook was undersized on the low block defending Draymond Green, so Durant peeled off Livingston to provide helpside at the rim and forced Green to pass to the opposite block to Livingston for a point-blank look at the rim. But Durant was a step ahead of that play, darting across the lane and blocking his shot to get the loose ball that initated a transition play for Oklahoma City. 
  • The key to winning a championship isn't small ball. It's being able to play small when necessary and big. The Thunder have a unique advantage over everyone in that they can do both simultaneously. Ibaka is 6-10, can jump out of the building and has three-point range. He's too quick for Andrew Bogut and too superior athletically for Green. Durant is 6-10 with a ridiculous wingspan. Steven Adams, who was interviewed by the Wizards during 2013 predraft camp in Chicago, is a 7-foot defensive gem who cleans up everyone's mess in the paint. 
  • It's not clear whether Donovan is a genius or if he just stumbled onto this idea in the postseason, similar to the questions raised about then-Wizards coach Randy Wittman when he finally opted to go with Paul Pierce as the "stretch" four in the 2015 playoffs after rarely deploying it during the regular season. Moving Ibaka to center and Durant at the four spot seems like a no-brainer. It has caught the Warriors off-guard, just the way Wittman's move confused the Toronto Raptors en route to a sweep. 
  • Back in 2012, when the Thunder lost in their only NBA Finals appearance to the Miami Heat in five games, then-coach Scott Brooks (now Wizards coach) stubbornly refused to pull Kendrick Perkins off the floor. For the record, I picked the Thunder to win that series in six games because of the Ibaka factor. As he'd showed in dominanting Pau Gasol when they beat the L.A. Lakers, Ibaka is a versatile big who can play multiple positions and was a better matchup vs. the Heat's Chris Bosh played in the middle. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra went with Bosh as his starting center after a Game 1 loss. Brooks stuck with Perkins, an immobile, traditional big who was very good at setting screens but that was about it. The Heat won the next four games.
  • Curry is the two-time MVP, but Westbrook is the better overall player. No, this isn't a flop. Westbrook has long been underappreciated and overly criticized for being himself -- a big, physical, super-athletic point guard who had to learn the position coming out of college. It took a while. While he's not the three-point shooter that Curry is, Westbrook's hustle and defensive abilities are what separate him from other top players at his position. Sure, he'll take some ill-advised shots and have some turnovers that'll be head-scratching. That's OK. Now the Thunder have five players on the court at all times that play with his motor in bigger bodies. Golden State and the Spurs have broken opponents down with their pressure offense, repeated ball movment and actions that wear down the defense. The Thunder are using pressure offense and defense to demoralize opponents. There's no team left in the playoffs -- not even the Cleveland Cavaliers -- that has an answer for this.