Travis Hafner’s deal with Yankees worth $2 million plus incentives

Travis Hafner’s deal with Yankees worth $2 million plus incentives

As expected the Yankees have signed Travis Hafner to a one-year deal, with Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting that the designated hitter will get $2 million in upfront money and $4 million in potential incentives. If you’re paying Hafner a lot and counting on him to make an everyday impact in the…

Maryland football to play at Yankee Stadium in 2017

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Maryland football to play at Yankee Stadium in 2017

Maryland's scheduled road game against Rutgers on Nov. 4, 2017 will take place at Yankee Stadium in New York City, according to CSN's Chick Hernandez. The game was originally scheduled to be played at the Scarlet Knights' home field in Piscataway, N.J.

Yankee Stadium has hosted a number of college football games before, including the annual Pinstripe Bowl and a regular-season matchup between Rutgers and Army in 2011.

Maryland is set to face Rutgers at home in their 2016 season finale on Nov. 26.

 

Joe Ross' seventh-inning escape helps him get back in win column

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Joe Ross' seventh-inning escape helps him get back in win column

Part of the maturation process for any young starting pitcher in big leagues typically involves learning how to work through tough situations late in games — even if running on fumes. And in the seventh inning of Thursday's 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, Dusty Baker leaned on Joe Ross to do just that. 

With the Nats clinging to a one-run lead, the Cards sent Yadier Molina to the plate with men on first and second base and no outs as Washington's 23-year-old right hander's pitch count was climbing past triple digits. Though Baker had lefty reliever Oliver Perez warming in the bullpen just in case, the Nats' skipper trusted his starter to find a way to get through the frame.

That trust paid off; Ross struck out Molina and then induced a ground ball from Kolten Wong for an inning-ending double play. The key moment came on Ross' 110th pitch of the night — a career-high — which helped snap his personal four-game losing streak to even his record at 4-4. 

"Kind of a big deal," Ross said of the seventh. "[Baker] trusts the starters to work our way out of the jams. He’s definitely shown that not only with me but all of the other guys. I think it’s good you kind of earn that trust or he let's you go out there and do your job. To be able to get out of the inning was huge."

Of course, one inning doesn't define what a pitcher is made of, but Thursday's effort was yet another step in Ross' evolution as he showed an important trait that Baker wants to see from his rotation. 

"What it can do for him is to pitch to the situation," the manager said. "Sometimes you need a strikeout, which he got on Yadier Molina, a very tough hitter. And then he pitched to the situation to try get a ground ball from Kolten Wong, and that's what pitching's all about....You hit to the situation, and you pitch to the situation. We were fortunate enough tonight that Joe did both."

"It was big for me to kind of build that confidence late in the game to try and get out of there and give us a chance to win," Ross added. 

Ross' escape was impressive, but hardly surprising. The former San Diego Padres farmhand has shown poise beyond his years ever since he joined the Nats organization in December of 2014. And after Thursday's outing, he owns an ERA of 2.52 for the season, lowest among Nats' starters. Not bad for a guy who was once considered the secondary piece of the trade that sent top shortstop prospect Trea Turner to Washington.  

"It's a lot of fun to watch him pitch, especially at the age he is," Bryce Harper said. "Being able to come up and do what he did last year and do what he's doing now. He's got the stuff to be very, very good one day."

Months later, Redskins ILB Perry Riley still battling foot injury

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Months later, Redskins ILB Perry Riley still battling foot injury

One of the more surprising developments from the first week of Redskins OTAs was Perry Riley on the sidelines wearing a walking boot.

The inside linebacker was enjoying one of the best stretches of his career late last season when he hurt his foot. The injury, which occurred in practice, was expected to sideline him for 3-6 weeks following a procedure to insert a pin into the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

Nearly six months later, Riley is still experiencing soreness and discomfort.

He acknowledged this week that he overexerted himself in the lead-up to January’s playoff game and suffered a setback. In all, Riley missed the final five regular season games and the Wild Card loss to the Packers.

Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday that Riley is scheduled to be reexamined by a specialist.

“He has some issues with his foot; a little soreness,” Gruden said. “We’re keeping him in a boot to protect it, and then we’ll consult a doctor and hopefully get him back soon.”

An exact timeframe for Riley has not been determined, but the seventh year veteran indicated to reporters that he intends to be ready for training camp in late July, if not sooner. The Redskins have two more weeks of OTAs and a mandatory veteran minicamp in mid-June.

In the meantime, Will Compton and Mason Foster are working as the first team inside linebackers. The duo finished the 2015 campaign as the starting ‘Mike’ and ‘Mo’ starters, respectively.