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.

No. 16 Virginia, bench players destroy Boston College

No. 16 Virginia, bench players destroy Boston College

BOSTON — Virginia coach Tony Bennett talked about having a 10-man group.

It only seemed like they were all on the court at the same time.

Playing only 25 minutes apiece, Devon Hall scored 13 points and Isaiah Wilkins had 11 points and nine rebounds to help No. 16 Virginia beat Boston College 71-54 on Wednesday night. The Cavaliers' bench pitched in with 33 points.

"We're really deep. Ten guys," Hall said. "You play as hard as possible for every possession you're in because you've got guys coming in who can do the job."

Darius Thompson scored 10 points off the bench, reserve Kyle Guy added eight more and Ty Jerome had five points and five assists. Three of the top five Cavaliers in minutes played and two of the top five in plus-minus were reserves as Virginia (14-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) beat BC for the fourth straight time.

"They gave us a nice lift," Bennett said. "Those are times when our 10-man group helped us."

Connor Tava scored 12 points with a season-high 11 rebounds and Jordan Chatman had 16 points for the Eagles (9-10, 2-4).

Virginia scored the first six points of the game and then, with Bennett subbing out the starters liberally, scored 15 straight points later in the first half to turn an 8-8 tie into a double-digit lead it never relinquished.

The Cavaliers added a 9-2 run at the end of the first half and, after going without a basket for the first 5 minutes of the second, rattled off 14 of 16 points to clinch it.

"That's the one thing that bothered me," BC coach Jim Christian said. "I didn't think that we came out to play Virginia, a ranked team, with the energy and emotion that you need to play them."

MORE NCAA: Why Maryland hoops isn't getting the respect it deserves

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Otto Porter wasn't focus of Grizzlies' scouting report and they paid for it

Otto Porter wasn't focus of Grizzlies' scouting report and they paid for it

The two Wizards players who will routinely get the most clean looks, because of how defenses are consumed with John Wall and Bradley Beal, are Otto Porter and Markieff Morris. Both made the Memphis Grizzlies pay a heavy price for their coverages Wednesday in a 104-101 win at Verizon Center, the 13th in a row at home for the Wizards. 

Porter tied Wall for a team-high 25 points, but he also knocked down a career-high six three-pointers. The two biggest came in succession midway through the fourth quarter for a 95-83 lead. Though the Grizzlies would make a run to cut the deficit to two, the Wizards would hold on after leading by as many as 19 points. 

"He is what the NBA has become. He is a Swiss army knife. He can play multiple positions," Grizzlies coach David Fizdale said of Porter, who had been silent after scoring 17 in the first half. "The more he makes his threes, the deadlier he becomes but he does so much other stuff for them."

Beal was held in check by Tony Allen and company as they sent multiple players at him to keep the lethal shooting guard off the three-point line. But Beal still had his chances after Allen fouled out with 6;16 left. He shot 1-for-7 on threes. Porter was 6-for-8.

Wall assisted Porter on five of the long balls. And when the Grizzlies made it uncomfortable again, Wall took advantage of being switched onto by Marc Gasol by getting layups. 

"Every night he comes in and does everything he's supposed to do," Wall said of Porter, who will be a restricted free agent after completing the fourth and final year of his rookie scale contract. "Rebounding, cutting to the basket, being in the right place at the right time, knocking down shots and even when he's not knocking them down he still believes in himself. We believe in him. We just try to put him in situations where he can excel."

Morris had his second consecutive double-double, a first for him in Washington since being acquired in a trade in Feburary 2015, with 17 points and 12 rebounds. JaMychal Green and Chandler Parsons couldn't handle him without help. And when Gasol was crossmatched on Morris, he faced him up and used his quicker first step to get the shots he wanted.

[RELATED: Takeaways from Wizards' win over tough Grizzlies team]

Morris wasn't as effective in the second half as he seemed to rush his shots rather than kicking the ball out and resetting to take more advantage of the defense. But in combination with Porter, he contributed to a 66-point first half. 

All season, most teams have gambled off Porter and he has cashed in. When he hits the market, that'll be more literal in the summer.

"You have to pick your poison on the pick-and-roll," Gasol said. "When the initial action is not played correctly, and they get to the paint either with a drive or a pass, somebody has to help and you have to pick whether to come off Bradley Beal or to come off Porter. So you pick the one guy, and he got hot on threes and got going."

Based on their expereince Oct. 30, Porter was the right guy. When the Wizards lost 102-93 in overtime in Memphis, Porter was 0-for-5 from three-point range. Allen was out injured so this was the first time he's seen this version of the small forward.

"That made them a lot dangerous. I didn't even know he was on the scouting report today. I didn't hear two words about him today in the shootaround," Allen said. "It was just a lot about Beal and Wall. Beal and Wall. We got to pay better attention to our opponents and have a little better focus coming into games. ... When the others, guys like him, Morris, be highlights of the day, there is going to be pressure on your defense."

Beal was held to 12 points on 4-for-14 shooting but Wall still was able to get his with 25 points, 13 assists and two steals. Porter made up the difference.

"The way he was shooting, he should have shot 10 more," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "The way their defense was collapsing on John, he made the right reads."

[RELATED: 5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Grizzlies]