Rockies players react to Tracy's departure

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Rockies players react to Tracy's departure

From Comcast SportsNetDENVER (AP) -- Players who stood by Jim Tracy while the Colorado Rockies endured their worst season in franchise history are reiterating their support for him following the manager's resignation over the weekend.Left-hander Jeff Francis said he was surprised to hear Tracy had decided to step down, telling The Associated Press in an email: "I loved playing for him and I think everyone did. The Rockies will miss him for sure."Among the most vocal supporters was outfielder Dexter Fowler, who appreciated Tracy sticking with him through protracted slumps over the last two seasons before a breakout 2012. He tweeted, "Man I'm gonna miss Tracy, thanks for believing in me! You are a wonderful and stand up guy!"One of the few bright spots as the Rockies flirted with the dreaded 100-loss season before finishing 64-98, Fowler batted .300 with a .389 on-base percentage and 13 homers last season, all career highs.Rex Brothers, Tyler Colvin and Josh Rutledge also tweeted praise for Tracy, who informed Bill Geivett, the team's director of major league operations, on Sunday that he was forgoing the final year on his contract, which was to pay him 1.4 million."Gonna miss No. 4 sitting in that dugout at Coors! Thanks for everything skip. None better," Brothers tweeted.Colvin tweeted he was "Sad to hear the news about our skipper. It was a privilege to play for such a great manager and such a great person." He concluded with (hashtag)ClassAct"And Rutledge tweeted, "So lucky to be able to have played for a manager like Jim Tracy with the professionalism and intelligence for the game. He will be missed."Energized by the young players and the challenge of fixing things, Tracy had said repeatedly the last several weeks that he wanted to fulfill the final year on his contract and players including clubhouse leaders Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez said they were sticking by Tracy.Tracy, however, changed his mind after meeting with Geivett for several hours on Friday and then mulling those discussions over the weekend. He called him Sunday afternoon and offered his resignation.Tracy, who took over after Clint Hurdle lost the clubhouse in early 2009 and led them to the playoffs that year, finished 294-308 in three-plus seasons.The Rockies are now conducting their first managerial search since Jim Leyland resigned after the 1999 season. Geivett said he had no set time frame for hiring Tracy's replacement.Possible candidates include bench coach Tom Runnels and Stu Cole, who managed the Rockies' Triple-A farm club in Colorado Springs.

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Eagles LB arrested after punching hotel worker for slow umbrella service

Eagles LB arrested after punching hotel worker for slow umbrella service

Nigel Bradham, who signed with the Eagles this March after four years in Buffalo, turned himself into Miami police on Monday following a bizarre incident that occurred this past Thursday.

According to a report, the 26-year-old linebacker allegedly punched an employee at the Hilton Bentley hotel last week because he was upset at the worker for taking too long to bring an umbrella he had paid for. NBC 10 in Philadelphia also says that the employee had his head "smashed" with a glass bottle during the altercation.

The victim suffered a broken nose due to the punch and lacerations as a result of being hit with the bottle. He later identified Bradham in photographs on Friday. 

The expected starter has reportedly been charged with aggravated assault (which is a second-degree felony) and has a court date set for Aug. 2.

"We are aware of the recent incident involving Nigel Bradham in Miami," the Eagles said in a statement. "We have been in contact with Nigel and the proper authorities. Due to the ongoing legal process, we will have no further comment at this time."

Philadelphia will host its first veterans practice on Thursday, and Bradham is expected to attend. 

RELATED: BASHAUD BREELAND BROUGHT HIS PUPPIES TO TRAINING CAMP

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Orioles try and avoid series loss with Dylan Bundy starting

Orioles try and avoid series loss with Dylan Bundy starting

Tonight's Game: Colorado Rockies (48-52) vs. Baltimore Orioles (58-41), Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

Starting pitchers: Jon Gray (6-4, 4.12) vs. Dylan Bundy (3-2, 3.30)

Keys to the Game:

Can the Orioles avoid losing just their second home series of the season. They're 12-1-3 in homne series. 

Can Bundy win for the second time as a starter? Last Friday, he pitched five innings, allowing just one unearned run.

News and Notes:

The Orioles lead the American League East by two games over Toronto. Boston is 2 1/2 games behind.

Chris Davis is stuck in an 0-for-23 slump. 

Gray is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in his past five outings. 

The Orioles are 6-3 in interleague play. 

Adam Jones has walked 27 times, nine away from his career high.

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Five questions to ask as Ravens open training camp

Five questions to ask as Ravens open training camp

Veterans report to Ravens training camp Wednesday, with the first full-squad practice Thursday morning. Here are five questions to ask as the Ravens try to bounce back from a 5-11 season.

1. Does the influx of new talent make the Ravens playoff contenders again?

The Ravens were more aggressive early in free agency than usual, signing safety Eric Weddle, wide receiver Mike Wallace, and tight end Ben Watson. Then they loaded up on young talent with 11 draft picks, including left tackle Ronnie Stanley who is expected to start, linebacker Kamalei Correa who should see significant playing time, and running back Kenneth Dixon who has intriguing potential. The Ravens are a better football team, but I still question if they’re good enough to make the playoffs.  In order to make the postseason, the Ravens simply must get significant contributions from a host of new players.  

2. Is quarterback Joe Flacco ready to have a stellar season coming off knee surgery?

It’s a great sign that Flacco is ready for camp. His reps may be monitored early in camp and his preseason playing time figures to be limited. But when the regular season begins, the Ravens will need Flacco to have a solid season, maybe his best for the Ravens to make the playoffs. If Flacco has any lingering doubt about how his knee will hold up, those doubts need to be erased between now and Week 1.

3. How will key players on PUP perform once they return?

Four players currently on the PUP list are expected to play crucial roles – wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman, and linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. Smith is 37 years old, Suggs is 33, Dumervil is 32, and Perriman has yet to play an NFL down due to knee injuries. The Ravens’ playoff prospects are better if they can squeeze another quality year out of their injured vets, and if Perriman finally plays.

4. Who starts at inside linebacker next to C. J. Mosley?

That could be the biggest question mark in the starting lineup. The Ravens are deep at running back and tight end, so who starts doesn’t matter as much. But the release of veteran Daryl Smith, now with the Buccaneers, leaves a void at inside linebacker. Zach Orr has the inside track to start, Arthur Brown is getting one more chance, and Correa could be moved inside. But if none of those players rise up, general manager Ozzie Newsome could be forced to sign a veteran.

5. How will the new-look left side of the offensive line gel?

Stanley is a rookie left tackle. They’ll be a new starter at left guard, as John Urschel, Ryan Jensen, and perhaps rookie Alex Lewis battle to replace Kelechi Osemele, who was lost to the Raiders in free agency. It’s not surprising the Ravens felt they needed to sign veteran left tackle Jake Long as insurance.  To protect Flacco and run the ball effectively, the new-look left side of the offensive line must play well.