Former Cy Young winner banned for 50 games

Former Cy Young winner banned for 50 games

From Comcast SportsNet
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Former Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon of the Oakland Athletics was suspended for 50 games Wednesday after testing positive for testosterone. Major League Baseball made the announcement one week after All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants was suspended 50 games for a positive test for the same substance. "I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A's," Colon said in a statement released by the players' association. "I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the joint drug program." He will miss the final 40 games of the regular season and the first 10 games of the postseason if Oakland advances that far. Any remainder of the suspension would be served in a future season, if Colon signs another major league contract. "It's a shock," Oakland reliever Grant Balfour said. "He's a guy that we're definitely relying on right now. I guess you could say it's bad timing any time, but especially now." Oakland, which hasn't made the playoffs since 2006, began Wednesday a half-game out in the AL wild-card race. The A's were preparing for an afternoon series finale with the Minnesota Twins at the Coliseum when they got the news from the clubhouse TVs. A closed-door team meeting was quickly called. "The Oakland Athletics are disappointed to learn of today's suspension," the team said in a statement. The 39-year-old Colon is 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts this season, his first with the A's, and has a 171-122 record in 15 big league seasons. He was due to start Thursday in Tampa. A two-time All-Star, he won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award after going 21-8 for the Los Angeles Angels. Colon will lose the remaining 469,945 of his 2 million base salary this year. He also has earned 750,000 in performance bonuses based on starts and 150,000 based on innings, which is not impacted. Thursday's start would have earned him another 250,000, and the suspension will cost him the chance to make 850,000 in additional bonuses based on innings. Five players have been suspended this year under the big league drug program. San Francisco reliever Guillermo Mota was penalized 100 games in May following his second positive test, and Philadelphia infielder Freddy Galvis and free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd were suspended 50 games each in June. Colon had been thankful to get a second chance with the A's. His 10 wins are his most since his Cy Young season. Colon has credited a stem-cell procedure two years ago for saving his career. He had fat and bone marrow stem cells collected and injected into his troublesome right elbow and shoulder in an innovative and unproven technique. Colon had no idea how it would turn out, but he responded and spent 2011 with the Yankees. Colon signed a 2 million, one-year contract last month to join a rotation that lost two top pitchers this offseason. All-Star left-hander Gio Gonzalez got traded to the Washington Nationals, while Trevor Cahill was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Closer Andrew Bailey is also gone, sent to Boston in late December. The Bay Area had already been shocked at the suspension of Cabrera only a week earlier. "Two guys -- that's why they've got the policy, I guess," Balfour said. "The guy may be innocent. You just hope there's some mistake there." The A's weren't interested in discussing Colon's situation as they try to return to the playoffs for the first time since being swept by the Tigers in four games of the '06 AL championship series. Oakland did welcome back starting left-hander Brett Anderson in Tuesday night's win over the Twins following a 14-month absence because of Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. "That suspension has nothing to do with me," outfielder Coco Crisp said.

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The 5 must-see moments from the Wizards' win over the Bucks

The 5 must-see moments from the Wizards' win over the Bucks

Here are the five plays or moments worth revisiting from the Wizards' 110-105 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night at the Verizon Center...

1. Before the game, Chris Miller asked Wizards head coach Scott Brooks to name his favorite Star Wars movie, as Saturday night was Star Wars Night at the Verizon Center. Brooks, it turns out, has never seen any of the movies. As amazing as that may be, he had a pretty good zing at Miller to explain why he hasn't seen any of them:

Also, as an honorable mention here to honor Star Wars Night, check out these pictures of G-Wiz getting attacked by two kids with light sabers. G-Wiz begged for mercy and mercy he did not receive:

2. Okay, now to the game itself. Kelly Oubre, Jr. was all over the place on Saturday night, including this play where he was right there to clean up a John Wall miss and convert for two points:

3. This play right here was a little interesting. After missing a free throw, Bradley Beal kicked the ball into the stands like his name was Dustin Hopkins:

4. Beal was frustrated on that play, but on this one he found Marcin Gortat for a two-handed slam. This is about as smooth as an offense can run in basketball:

5. And lastly, here's Wall making a really tough shot off the glass, one that brought the biggest reaction of the night from the crowd at the Verizon Center:

What's that? You want another one? Fine, here you go. Here's Oubre stealing the ball and taking it all the way to the other end for a big-time slam. This is the second straight game Oubre has turned a steal into two points all by himself:

[RELATED: Wizards force Bucks star Giannis into career-high in turnovers]

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Wizards force Bucks superstar Giannis to career-high in turnovers

Wizards force Bucks superstar Giannis to career-high in turnovers

Few positives can be taken from a defensive perspective when a player scores 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds and seven assists, a line that Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo compiled on Saturday night at the Verizon Center. But the Wizards - who won the game 110-105 - can take pride in one particular stat that did not reflect well on Antetokounmpo. 

That would be the turnover category where Antetokounmpo tied a career-high with seven of them. The Greek Freak commits his fair share of turnovers normally, ranking sixth in the NBA with 3.5 per game. But only once before has he had seven and not since January 24 of 2015.

"We tried to make it crowded for him and he did turn the ball over a few times, probably too many than he would like," head coach Scott Brooks said. "But that was our plan, just to crowd the paint and make it tough on him. But he is really a great player and we had our hands full tonight.”

Brooks relied heavily on his newly discovered small-ball lineup, one that includes both Otto Porter, Jr. and Kelly Oubre, Jr. on the floor at the same time. Both are primarily small forwards, but provide length and versatility which allow the Wizards to make smooth switches on defense. Oubre played the entire fourth quarter and Porter logged 9:24 of the frame.

Their long arms make it tough for defenders to go around them and that helped against Antetokounmpo, who had four turnovers in the second half. A 6-foot-11 point guard, Antetokounmpo likes to attack off the dribble and usually has no problem getting around his defenders.

"That was my prerogative tonight to take that matchup with Giannis pretty seriously," Oubre said. "Just try to speed him up. Don't give him what he's use to having. He's a driver, he's a slasher. Just stay in from of him. That's definitely what we tried to do and I feel like we did a great job of that tonight."

Giannis wasn't the only Bucks player the Wizards had success against defensively. Former second overall pick Jabari Parker was limited to a season-low eight points. Parker entered the game averaging 19.6 points on the year.

"The biggest thing was making sure they saw bodies," guard Bradley Beal said. "Their strongest point is driving to the basket. They love to get points in the paint."

This was a nice follow-up for the Wizards after they beat the Nuggets on Thursday night and held them to just 85 points, including 33 in the second half. To put together two consecutive defensive outings like this seems like a step in the right direction for a 9-13 Wizards team that is off to a disappointing start overall in large part because of their defense late in games.

Beal called their recent play on defense "grimy" and he meant it in a good way. Guard John Wall, who has complained about his team's defensive effort at times this season, also saw progress.

“I think we’re getting to the point where if we’re not making shots we’re still competing and keeping our edge on the defensive end and competing – making people feel us and I think that’s helping us," he said.

Now comes a chance to do it for three straight games. On Monday the Wizards will play the Miami Heat and attempt to do something they haven't done all year, win three games in a row.

[RELATED: Kelly Oubre breaks out for Wizards against Bucks]