Eye injury could keep Parker from Olympics


Eye injury could keep Parker from Olympics

From Comcast SportsNet
PARIS (AP) -- NBA star Tony Parker may miss the London Olympics after almost losing his eye in a fight involving singer Chris Brown and members of hip-hop star Drake's entourage. Parker's cornea was scratched in the fight, and the San Antonio Spurs guard revealed he had to have an operation to remove a shard that had "penetrated 99 percent" of his left eye. "I almost lost my eye," Parker said in an interview posted on his website Sunday. He did not join the rest of France's team Wednesday and will see a specialist in New York when he is cleared to take long-haul flights after July 5. "I'm seeing a specialist in New York with the hope of being given the all clear to play in the Olympic Games," Parker said. "Spurs are very worried. "Anything can happen, including me being out of the Olympics. The decision doesn't belong to me anymore. It's in the hands of the doctor and San Antonio." Parker said he has been having hallucinations and been unable to leave his hotel room for eight days because of the risk of infection. He also has to apply five different products into his eye every two hours. "Fear sets in," Parker said of being told he would have to undergo surgery. "An eye is so fragile. ... I couldn't believe it. But that's life. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. "I didn't have luck, but I came out well from my misfortune. It could have been worse. The rest of my career is not in question. I just have to wait for the injury to heal itself." Despite being unable to play, Parker will spend the rest of his time in France with the French squad in Pau. France's first game at the Olympics is against the United States on July 29. Chris Brown, his girlfriend and his bodyguard were among eight injured during the fight inside the W.i.P club in SoHo on June 15. Police say members of Drake's entourage stopped Brown as he was leaving. The fight escalated and bottles were thrown. Parker is suing the New York City club for 20 million.

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Orioles make another move; pick up outfielder Drew Stubbs on waivers

Orioles make another move; pick up outfielder Drew Stubbs on waivers

BALTIMORE — The Orioles have claimed outfielder Drew Stubbs on release waivers from the Texas Rangers 

Stubbs is 31, and in 39 games this season, has batted .259 with three home runs and six RBIs with the Rangers and Atlanta. 

To make room for Stubbs on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated left-handed pitcher Kyle Lobstein for assignment.

Lobstein was acquired for left-handed pitcher Zach Phillips earlier on Wednesday. 

The Orioles hope that Lobstein and Ashur Tolliver, another left-hander who was designated for assignment when Lobstein was acquired, both pass through waivers and can be options in September for the team. 

Stubbs will report to the Orioles on Friday, and Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the team may not be through making deals. Players acquired by midnight are eligible to play in the postseason.

“We have a couple of other discussions that we’re working on. We’ll see if those come to fruition. We are happy to address our outfield defense with a defender that can help us at a number of positions and also give Buck [Showalter] somebody off the bench that he can insert into the game that has a good chance to steal a base. He’s got a really good success rate in stolen bases over his career,” Duquette said. 

Stubbs has stolen eight bases this season without being thrown out. 

In his eight-year career with Texas, Atlanta, Cleveland, Colorado and Cincinnati, Stubbs has a .244 lifetime average. In 2010, he hit home runs and 77 RBIs with the Reds. Stubbs also strikes out often. In 2011, he led the National League with 205 strikeouts. 

“Since we lost Joey Rickard we’ve been looking for another outfielder. Particularly one that can play center field and the other outfield positions and play good defense,” Duquette said. 

Duquette wouldn’t address which players would be called up from the minor leagues for Friday’s game. 


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Gio Gonzalez faces Phillies as Nats look for sweep on road

Gio Gonzalez faces Phillies as Nats look for sweep on road

Nats (77-55) at Phillies (60-72) at Citizens Bank Park

The Nationals saw Tanner Roark and Max Scherzer dominate in the first two games of this week's series in Philly. On Wednesday, they will send Gio Gonzalez (9-9, 4.25) to the mound looking for a sweep.

The Nats have swept the Phillies each of the last two times they've squared off and have won eight straight overall in head-to-head matchups. Gonzalez has seen the Phillies twice this year with just two earned runs allowed in 13 1/3 total innings of work.

Pitching for Philly will be lefty Adam Morgan (1-8, 6.50). Morgan has also seen the Nats twice with nine earned runs given up in 12 2/3 innings combined.

Trea Turner has the day off for the Nationals with Michael Taylor starting in center and batting leadoff. Turner is actually just two hits away from tying a franchise record for most hits in a month. Given this is the last day of August, he should fall just short.

Besides the Taylor change, the rest of the Nats' lineup looks just as it did in Tuesday's win.

First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats - Gio Gonzalez vs. Phillies - Adam Morgan


CF Michael Taylor
LF Jayson Werth
2B Daniel Murphy
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
C Wilson Ramos
1B Ryan Zimmerman
SS Danny Espinosa
LHP Gio Gonzalez


LHP Adam Morgan


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Capitals prospect Jakub Vrana has big goals this season

Capitals prospect Jakub Vrana has big goals this season

Jakub Vrana returned to town Tuesday afternoon and, by 9 o'clock Wednesday morning, was among the first players on the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Although he isn't required to report for another few weeks, the skilled Czech winger was eager to get a head start on the most important training camp of his career.

"My goal, of course, is make the team," Vrana said after an informal practice with a group that featured Braden Holtby, John Carlson, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and Matt Niskanen, among others. "It’s been my goal for last two years."

Washington's 13th overall pick in 2014, Vrana is entering a window in which it’s reasonable to expect him to make his NHL debut. Nine of the 12 players selected before Vrana, in fact, have already made their NHL debuts. Six of them had full-time roles last season.

The question for Vrana, it seems, is when he’ll add his name to that list and how long he’ll stick in Washington.

"I know what I need to get better," the 20-year-old said, "and I work on it."  

Indeed, after taking some off following a long playoff run with Hershey, Vrana hit the gym, bulking up from 187 pounds to 198.

As for the other necessary improvements, those are of the tactical variety—attention to detail in the defensive zone, toughness around the net and consistency. The last one is often the most difficult one for prospects to attain, and he said it's going to be his primary focus next month.

"Last year, I would say defending the zone [was the biggest weakness], but I feel like I got a lot better," Vrana said, checking off his to-do list. "The thing is, you get better in defensive zone, but you got to prove it every game. You got to show every game you’re good in defensive zone. That’s my goal. I can be good in defensive game, five games out of seven. But you got to be good every game."

Last season got off to a difficult start for Vrana, who underwent wrist surgery in November and missed three months of the Bears’ season. Upon returning, the left-shot sniper was almost a point-per-game player, notching 16 goals and 34 points in 36 contests. He was productive in the Calder Cup playoffs, too, amassing eight goals and six assists in 21 games.  

"It was a good season," Vrana said. "We went to the finals. Obviously we didn’t finish it. But it was good experience for me. I feel really good right now. Just going to see what happen, you know?"

With 13 forwards already on the NHL roster, making the team out of training camp is a long shot for Vrana. In reality, he’s likely jockeying with other prospects for pole position on the call-up list until a full-time job opens up next summer. Still, he’s determined not to allow a daunting depth chart to influence his mindset entering camp.

"There’s lots of talent on the team," Vrana acknowledged. "There’s the guys who been very experienced, who won Stanley Cups.  And there’s some experienced guys who been in this league for a few years already. The hard work is going to decide who is going to be in the team. It’s my plan to do that. We will see how the organization is going to look on that."

Whatever happens next month, this much is already clear: Vrana is close and he's enjoying the journey.

"You just going to do your job. Job? I mean, job you like,” Vrana said, correcting himself with a smile. “I don’t want to call it a job. I love it. You don’t want to really give them options. Show them you’re ready; no other option."