Kastles go for 27 without Olympians

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Kastles go for 27 without Olympians

For the second season in a row, the Washington Kastles have the best record in World TeamTennis at 10-0 allowing them to notch the No. 1 seed for WTT Finals.Washington has won 26 consecutive matches and will look to keep the streak alive through Saturday with four matches remaining in the regular season.Following tonight's last home match of the season versus Philadelphia, the Kastles will play road matches at New York Wednesday, Kansas City on Friday and Springfield on Saturday.If Washington wins its 27th consecutive match tonight, the Kastles will pass the 1916 New York Giants (MLB) for the second-longest winning streak in major U.S. pro sports history. The Lakers present the next hurdle with the 33-game undefeated run by Los Angeles during the 1971-72 NBA season.The challenge tonight will be posed not only by the Freedoms (4-6), but the Kastles' own depleted squad as Leander Paes, Venus Williams and Anastasia Rodionova will be competing at The Olympic Games in London.Paes and Rodionova have passed the torch for two of the top doubles players in the world, 19th-ranked Raquel Kops-Jones and 45th-ranked Treat Conrad Huey, to make their debut tonight for Washington.For Huey, who was born in Washington, raised in Alexandria and graduated from the University of Virginia, playing for the Kastles is somewhat of a homecoming. Before becoming a two-time All-American for the Cavaliers, Huey was a three-time Washington Post Player of the Year while attending St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School. Meanwhile, Bobby 'The Closer' Reynolds doesn't seem too worried about stepping up in Leander's absence, "It's going to be tough, obviously to fill-in for a six-time Olympian and obviously Anastasia and Venus, but we have a lot of good people coming inso we'll see what happens."
PROJECTED MATCH-UPSMS: Bobby Reynolds (WAS) vs. Luka Gregorc (PHL)WS: Edina Gallovits-Hall (WAS) vs. Kristyna Pliskova (PHL) MD: ReynoldsTreat Conrad Huey (WAS) vs. GregorcJordan Kerr (PHL) WD: Gallovits-HallRaquel Kops-Jones (WAS) vs. Kr. PliskovaKarolina Pliskova (PHL)MXD: HueyKops-Jones (WAS) vs. KerrKr. Pliskova (PHL)

Ravens take chance on Navy QB Reynolds after position change

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Ravens take chance on Navy QB Reynolds after position change

After his memorable career at Navy, Keenan Reynolds fulfilled another dream Saturday when the Ravens drafted him in the sixth round (No. 182 overall).

Reynolds has been told by Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome that he will compete for a roster spot as a wide receiver – punt returner, after playing quarterback at Navy. When he received the phone call from Newsome, Reynolds described it has one of the most emotional moments of his life. 

“Relief, excitement,” Reynolds said during a conference call. “I was upset (watching the draft). I know I can play with these guys. To see my name, to see my phone ring…It’s a dream come true. All I ever wanted to do was play on Sundays.”

It remains to be seen if Reynolds’ Navy obligations will interfere with his dream of an NFL career. Reynolds said he had already talked with some Navy officials, and hoped a resolution could be reached.

“I think being in the DMV area is going to help my cause, but again that’s a call that’s up to the Navy,” Reynolds said. “It’s up to the secretary of the Navy and the Navy. But right now I’m just trying to bask in what the now is, and I’m just blessed to be picked up, and I’m ready to get started.”

Asked when he would get an answer from the Navy, Reynolds said, “It will be soon. It will probably happen within the next few days. 

Reynolds believes he can make a quick transition to wide receiver. 

“I’ve been running routes like crazy, trying to get quicker in and out of my routes, I’ve been catching punts – everything that they want me to do. To get to work with Steve Smith Sr. and learn from him, try to get better from him? It’s going to be an awesome ride.”

CSN analyst Brian Mitchell, a former returner with the Redskins, has been working with Reynolds on his punt return technique. 

“He kind of gave me some extra drills,” Reynolds said. “He brings an innovative style, also perspective from somebody who has returned punts. I’m just extremely excited.”

Ross strong in return as Nats roll past Cardinals in St. Louis

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Ross strong in return as Nats roll past Cardinals in St. Louis

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 6-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium: 

How it happened: Sometimes baseball can be so unpredictable that it almost doesn't even make sense. Trends can reverse in an instant and make all those who cast predictions look like fools. Baseball laughs at your 'educated' guess.

Take this weekend and the Nationals for instance. Somehow, after getting swept at home by the worst team in baseball in 2015, they now find themselves one game away from sweeping a team that led the majors with 100 wins a year ago. The Nats looked like no match for the Phillies in D.C., but now they're dominating the juggernaut Cardinals in St. Louis. Okay, sure. That makes sense.

Amazingly, that's where the Nats find themselves after Saturday's 6-1 win. Joe Ross closed his excellent April with six strong innings, Jayson Werth smacked a three-run homer in the top of the first and the Nats rolled past the Cardinals in St. Louis for the second straight day. They have won their first series at Busch Stadium since 2007. 

What it means: The Nats are off to a terrific start on their toughest road trip of the season. With two wins against the Cardinals, they have a chance to sweep before heading to Kansas City to face the defending champion Royals. These have been two very impressive wins and the Nats are proving well so far that their hot start against bad teams this season was not a mirage.

Ross strong in return: Ross returned from an injury - albeit a minor one - and it was not an easy situation for the right-hander to transition back, on the road at the Cardinals who boast one of baseball's best lineups. The right-hander, though, showed no rust at all from skipping his last start. Ross threw six innings of one-run ball on six hits and two walks. The one run - on a sac fly in the fifth - was the first charged to Ross since the first inning of his season debut. He had a 20 1/3 scoreless innings streak snapped, which is the second-longest in the NL so far this season only to Jake Arrieta's 23-inning streak. Ross now has a 0.79 ERA through four outings.

Werth comes through again: Werth added two hits (and 4 RBI) on Saturday including his big swing in the first inning to give the Nats a nice early lead. His three-run homer was his fourth of the season through 21 games. That's a 31-homer pace over a full 162. Power numbers were a concern for Werth after his shoulder surgery last offseason, but he now has 13 homers in his last 55 games dating back to last August. That's a 38-homer pace over a full season. He needs to get on base more, but lately he's been a significant home run threat.

Harper in a mini-slump: It's not often you see Bryce Harper struggle for several games in a row, but that has been the case over his last four outings. Harper had one walk and a run, but went hitless again on Saturday. He is now 0-for his last 11 at-bats and has one hit in his last four games. Harper's batting average dipped to .289 after Saturday's game, but he still holds a 1.128 OPS, which shows how good he has been overall this season.

Murphy keeps hitting: Daniel Murphy added two singles for his MLB-best 11th multi-hit game in 22 outings this season. His first single drove in the Nats' first run of the afternoon ahead of Werth's homer. Murphy is now batting .370 with a 1.013 OPS.

Up next: The Nationals have a chance to sweep the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon with another 2:15 p.m. first pitch. Max Scherzer (2-1, 4.35) will try to rebound after an uneven start to the season, while 24-year-old budding star Carlos Martinez (4-0, 1.93) will pitch for St. Louis.

Report: NHL and NHLPA agree to expansion draft rules

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Report: NHL and NHLPA agree to expansion draft rules

One of the biggest storylines in the NHL is over something that isn't even officially happening yet: The expansion draft. Even though the NHL is still deciding whether to expand the league by one or two teams, the rules surrounding an expansion draft were reportedly agreed to by the NHL and NHLPA on Friday, according to Gary Lawless of TSN.

The basic format of the draft was already known with teams being able to protect a certain number of players on the roster. The biggest question was over whether players with no-movement or no-trade clauses in their contracts would have to be protected.

We now appear to have some clarity on that issue.

Lawless reports that players with no-movement clauses will be required to be protected by their teams while players with no-trade clauses are not exempt from the draft and can be left exposed if a team chooses.

RELATED: ALEXANDER RADULOV PLANS ANOTHER NHL RETURN FOR 2016-17

A no-movement clause prevents players from being relocated involuntarily by trades, loans or waiver claims. A no-trade clause allows players to refuse a trade to either all teams or to a designated number of teams depending on the contract.

So what does this mean?

Teams will be allowed to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie or eight skaters and a goalie, but those protections must first go to players with no-movement clauses active prior to July 1, 2017, assuming the expansion draft were to take place prior to the 2017-18 season. Teams are under no obligation to protect players with no-trade clauses and those players can be selected in the draft.

According to General Fanager, the Caps have eight players signed into the 2017-18 season: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Jay Beagle, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, Taylor Chorney and Braden Holtby. Of those eight, none of them have no-movement clauses. Ovechkin, Backstrom, Niskanen and Holtby have no-trade clauses, but the Caps would not be obligated to protect any of them.

Obviously, the Caps will probably protect those four players anyway, but the point is that no one will simply be exempt from the expansion draft - all players must be specifically protected by their team.

MORE CAPITALS: CONOR SHEARY CALLS HIT BY WILSON A 'HOCKEY PLAY'